Letter from Korea, November 2010

Yongin, South Korea
November 19, 2010

Dear Ireland,

I’m writing this month’s letter on my birthday. Odd perhaps, but I felt that it’s an ideal time to share my thoughts and reflect on Ireland and Korea, especially since there is so much talk in the media about Ireland’s financial situation.

I hope that I can keep this letter focused on what I am familiar with and try to avoid the complications of the financial irregularity back in Ireland which I know very little about, and which I rely heavily on the opinions of others. These opinions arrive daily in my email inbox courtesy of some major dailies in Ireland, England and the U.S.

One comment stuck out for me, and to be honest I felt a little smug when I read it, but don’t ask me why. It was in the New York Times, and the article was reviewing the situation in Ireland from a relatively open-minded point of few, but at all times maintaining the seriousness of the situation. The paper stated that Ireland’s difficulty, which I read about daily (and hear the head politicos rabbit on in the same way), had overshadowed the G20 summit in Seoul.

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Wouldn’t it be nice to hear some news?

So, I clicked on to the ould My Yahoo! home page this morning (I’m a Yahoo! user, old school), where I have lots of RSS feeds for the news, mostly Yahoo! news, but also different updates from Reuters, AP, and a number of other sources. To my surprise, I read that there is a presidential election in Brazil coming up. Not only that, but it is in the final stages of completion.

Don’t you think it is odd that information like this isn’t of more significance? Firstly, I don’t think the elections results will effect me drastically, nor do I know anything about the candidates, but Brazil is one of the largest economies in the world, and definitely the most significant economy in the Southern hemisphere. But, this is the first time that I have read anything about the election. The fact that I had to hear about it through Yahoo! news, and not from one of the major newspapers that turn up in my inbox on a daily basis, such as the Irish Times, The Guardian, and the New York Times, is a poor reflection on the quality of the diversity of the news reporting in the world today.  Here is strong evidence that the mass media determines our sphere of interest and what we actually know.

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