Bad News, Rich Culture: Looking Beyond the World News Headlines
News about other countries tends to focus a lot more on what’s wrong with a place, than what’s going right.
That’s the job of the news, but it can make us think that every bad event defines the whole country. Just as the motorcycle shootings in Waco affected a small part of those living in Texas, Boko Haram reflects a small part of Nigerian culture.
In defining a country by its worst news, we leave out the people and cultural richness that live beyond the headlines, and tend to assume that countries are far more homogenous than is true. It’s hard enough to learn about the people in our backyard - let alone across oceans - but it would be worth it try a little harder.
Today we talk to four people who challenge what we think we know about other cultures.
- Timothy Kenny - Reporter, associate professor of journalism at UConn and the author of Far Country, Stories from Abroad and Other Places
- Saud Anwar - Mayor of South Windsor and a pulmonary critical care physician at Eastern Connecticut Health Network
- Alark Saxena - Director of the Yale Himalaya Initiative and teaches a course on Himalayan diversity at Yale’s School of Forestry
- Okey Ndibe - Author of Foreign Gods, Inc and Arrows of Rain. He’s currently working on a book of essays about his experience in the United States called, Going Dutch and Other American Misadventures.
John Dankosky and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired on May 22, 2015.