One criticism that many people f95zones lob against American media and American culture is that it is too self-obsessed. It is always looking inward, navel-gazing, and assuming that what goes on in the United States is the most important event in the world at the moment. In a certain but limited sense, this is true, because the United States is one of the most powerful country in the world, and its money goes
everywhere and affects the economy of just about every nation. The United States’ military is in countless countries around the world, not just in where it maintains active wars like Afghanistan and Iraq. For example, the United States maintains more than 50,000 troops in Germany, as a leftover of a post World War II international deal that sought to prevent the country to re-militarize on its own.
But sometimes in its coverage of political events, the mainstream media in the United States fails to include an international perspective that more worldly Americans would like to see. On one hand, this makes sense: we are in the United States, so of course our news would reflect our perspective and our values, and emphasize how the country and its citizens are involved in and affected by a given event. But on the other hand, it is productive and respectful to give a platform for other voices, and only serves to enrich one’s perspective on world affairs and political questions in general.
So where can one go who is interested in a more international perspective? Luckily, seeking out such media has never been easier than it is now in the age of satellite Internet. This is because, with satellite Internet, the politics buff or the internationally-minded can access a number of news sources that are just not available on mainstream television in the United States. One can go to websites that are in English like the BBC news site to get recaps of world events from a broader, European context. Doing so will leave one
somewhat shocked at the differences in what gets covered, and how. Another possibility is going to a number of international news blogs, which can be dedicated to certain themes, such as Latin American financial policy, for example. For those who are savvy enough to be able to read in another language, you can use satellite Internet to access the websites of local newspapers in countries that interest you. Those who are interested in the French strikes against
government cutbacks on social programs can go to the website for Le Monde, for example, and read articles that break down the situation from the local perspective, instead of having to rely on the version provided by the New York Times. This will give the reader more context. While news about France might break into the mainstream press coverage of world affairs a couple of times a year, a newspaper like Le Monde will have a much better idea of France’s history of labor protests, for example. Finally, you can also use satellite Internet to access podcasts on international issues.