Dear CNN and FOX, the George Zimmerman Trial Is Not the Center Of the Universe
For a nation as ethnically, culturally, socially, and economically diverse as the United States, American reporting desperately lags as that of a globally-minded nation. This week, major television networks have reported on the Zimmerman trial and just about nothing else, even as wars were raging overseas.
In the past few days, major events have been taking place across the world: President Obama visited Africa, where he was greatly moved by his visit to the prison that Nelson Mandela had stayed in for 18 years. The U.S. initiated yet another drone strike in Pakistan, killing at least 17 people. Russian Mayor Yevgeny Urlashov was arrested for soliciting bribes. And of course, Snowden's location is still a mystery. The list goes on.
One major story that indubitably got the short end of the reporting stick was the Egypt protests. Last week, a 22-year-old Dutch journalist was gang raped in Tahrir Square, landing her in the hospital. Back in 2011, when Egyptians overthrew their then-dictator Hosni Mubarak, American journalist Lara Logan was sexually assaulted, and also ended up in the hospital. While broadcasting stories like these on the news cannot rectify the wrongs already done to these young women, it can raise awareness of the undeniable dangers in potential war zones and encourage young women to take extra precautions while traveling in the future.
Sure it's probably more fun to talk about the big shot defense attorney who became forever infamous for opening his argument with a deplorable knock-knock joke, or to watch Judge Nelson become utterly flustered because no one in that courtroom had the sense to set their Skype to private before starting a call on national television, but to talk for days on end about a knock-knock joke or to replay the Skype fail over and over and over again when there is essentially a war going on in Egypt that has already killed a large number of people is simply ignorant and irresponsible reporting.
On Wednesday evening the Egyptian military ousted their first and only freely elected president, causing many to question and lose their faith in a democratic nation, and many more who still have no idea that even happened. Major news networks, such as CNN and Fox News, need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Their short-sighted reporting since the Zimmerman trial began is a reflection of their utter engrossment in themselves and in the laws that might directly affect them, while ignoring the suffering in the rest of the world which has not had a direct impact on the networks. It is precisely these networks that need to remember the kind of nation they represent — one that strives to be truly globally-minded.