7 Aug. 2007

Do Only White People Matter?

Oh my god. Thirteen miners trapped by a flood in a mineshaft! Will this story be on your TV news tonight? Not bloody likely - the mine is in China:
Water burst into the mine in Qianxi County on Tuesday night, when 20 workers were down the shaft. Six were rescued, one died and 13 were trapped. Last week, 69 coal miners were rescued after being trapped underground by flood waters for more than three days in central Henan province.

China's coal mining industry is the deadliest in the world. Some 1,799 coal miners died in 1,066 accidents in the first half of 2007, down 14.3 per cent from the same period last year.
Can anyone explain to me why stories about US citizens should dominate our news, when many more deserving stories closer to home are routinely ignored?

It used to be a case that only US stories got TV coverage, but that is no longer true. One assumes that the main reason now has more to do with news-sharing network affiliations between the USA and Australia, but don't we have such affiliations with other countries as well? Are the lives of US citizens somehow more important than those of people from other nations?

We also pay an inordinate amount of attention to UK news, of course. But that can be explained by demographic and historical reasons. Is the Aussie public really demanding US news stories, or are they just being foisted on us? We don't seem to care so much about what happens in Canada. or even New Zealand. Is it perhaps the US media's own hyperventilating sense of self-importance which generates our own media interest?