I remember reading quite awhile ago (hence no source, sorry) about media attitudes toward people in different parts of the world and it went something like this: If one American is killed, it's newsworthy. After that the journalistic worth of other people around the world looks much like this math equation: 1 American = 10 Europeans = 100 Asians =1,000 Central/South Americans = 10,000 Africans. This is now the unspoken rule when it comes to those "Breaking News" headlines. Africans just don't qualify as important unless tens of thousands are massacred or killed -- and even then, the story has a quick shelf life.
This is why so many Africans are dying of preventable diseases like malaria and TB and suffering from the the HIV/AIDS epidemic in frightening numbers. This is why the genocide in Darfur continues without nearly as much international contribution to peace and humanitarian efforts as there should be.
Media have tremendous power over our national attitudes and politics. As we continue to hear time and time again about the $700 billion bailout, when do we hear about the high-level meetings going on right now in New York about the serious and realistic work being done to put an end to poverty? Both Senators Obama and McCain are quite serious about trying to solve the failings of some of the biggest businesses in the world when they could just as easily be strategizing to put an end to unnecessary deaths and suffering among the poorest billion people.
We need you to help influence our media. Write a letter to your local newspaper editor -- no matter how small. Also, start diversifying where you get your news -- try www.democracynow.org for starters.