By Gwen Mariano | August 24th, 2007
For the past month and a half, I’ve been living in Spain, observing and watching the news media. For one, I’ve discovered how much international news is covered, particularly compared to the United States. It’s a good thing, especially for diversity-related purposes.
The notorious saying of “when it bleeds, it leads,” seems practically non-existent here, even in the local Spanish news stations and newspapers. News stories about crime isn’t as highlighted the way the American media covers it day after day. Take for instance, one of Spain’s highest circulated daily newspapers, La Vanguardia (http://www.lavanguardia.es/). It showcases its international news first, followed by politics, opinion, sports and the other news sections. The newspaper even devotes at least six pages to international news. Also, the television stations fill their newscasts with international news, not just about news in Spain. Even the weather reports contain global coverage from other continents, such as Latin America, Africa and Asia. It seems logical, especially since many immigrants in Spain come from those countries.
In comparison to the United States, however, international news is few and far between. During journalism school, international news coverage was a controversial, highlighted topic for us. It is sad, but true, that international news is only covered if it affects people in the United States directly, such as of course, the war in Iraq.
If international news were covered more widely, however, I believe diversity news stories would be more prevalent. Readers can understand more about people from other cultures, especially a time when the United States is increasingly becoming more diverse with new immigrants from other countries. And, there’s so many issues out there that immigrants face. So with the influx of people from other countries, will the American media reflect this diversity? If international news is only covered if it affects Americans directly, well, how about the new Americans with rich, diverse backgrounds who can obtain more news from their country as well as their new one?