On Reading Foreign Newspapers
For a while I've been posting a "Foreign News Item of the Day" here on Sole Focus and it has illicited some surprising responses. For the most part, readers are intrigued, interested, and are enjoying these posts. Though there are some in my immediate circle - family members, friends, etc - who seem stymied by my habit of reading newspapers from other countries. I find this odd.
I've been reading newspapers from afar for some time now. Ever since I first got the internet as a matter of fact. I find it very interesting to see what's going on in other countries. The things that make headlines in say Romania can be very different from what we read about here in the US but that doesn't mean they're any less absorbing. There are also a great many articles in newspapers from around the world that we are reading about right here at home, but which might have a spin on them unique to where the article is originating from. I find it interesting to get other points of view like this.
Then you have happenings like the recent overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya. We've been hearing about the civil war there since it began six months ago and we all know that NATO has inserted itself into the fray by taking the side of the Rebels who are ousting Col. Gaddafi from his forty-two year perch as the Libyan leader. The US has been involved as well but only through NATO. So I started following the story through The Tripoli Post, a really first rate publication that can be found on the internet in English. For some time there wasn't anything new on this paper's site because the Libyan government under Gaddafi had shut off the internet in the country. Since Tripoli was overrun by the Rebels last weekend, the internet is back on in Libya and so is The Tripoli Post. I've found that the majority of Libyans are in support of the Rebels and that Gaddafi's allies are no more than his home boys in Tripoli and those in his hometown of Sirte.
It is discovering how the local media and the native peoples in other countries feel about the events that are making news in their nations that draws me into reading their newspapers. I like to know all sides of a situation before I make a decision on it myself. There is no better way of finding out how the Namibians feel about something going on in their country than to go to the website of their main newspaper and find out what the press is saying about it. There are even times when you can hear about something on the news here in the US, learning the take on it from our side, and if you go to a news story from the originating country you might get an entirely different opinion on it that could sway your own sympathies.
Maybe I'm just a news junkie. Maybe I play devil's advocate too much. Or maybe I'm just too damn nosy. But having access to the globe as we now do through the internet means to me that we should take advantage of this miracle of the modern age and get ourselves acquainted with our brethren throughout the world. Once you understand where someone is coming from you can get an insight into what is driving their thought processes and hopefully open up lines of communication that were nonexistent beforehand. I always say that you find the truth on anything in the middle of ever how many sides there are to it.
So I'm going to keep posting my Foreign News Item of the Day. Most people love it. Those who don't either don't understand the interest or they think that what we're hearing on our news is all we need to know about it. There are also always those people who are afraid that knowledge will sway folks away from their agendas on any given topic. I say to them that they should be ashamed of themselves.
There is a big old world out there. Get involved and know what's going on in it. You will be the better for doing so.