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November 28, 2011 | by James Arger

Broken News

From Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland

When CNN was launched in June 1980, no one anticipated the tremendous impact the 24-hour news cycle would have on our media consuming habits. And yet, thirty years later, we expect live reporting, on-the-fly analyses and immediate reactions for any  every noteworthy and not-so-noteworthy event. We demand “here and now” commentary, experts instantly fact-checked, and pundits with opinions fully formed and ready for any situation.

Of course, the media themselves feed our demand by favoring live reporting over informed reporting. And little by little, over the years, trying to make us believe that embedded means the same thing as researched. We now judge journalists by how close to the scene they manage to be — and how fast. No wonder our view of the world ends up being both myopic and superficial.

As I write these words, I am nowhere near Zambia. There is nothing in common between the chilly weather outside my window and what is certainly a stuffy Summer in Lusaka. And looking at those photographs, I know there is no way I can rightfully imagine what kind of life those people are living — how they survive, how they suffer, how they sometimes accept the unacceptable. But I know one thing: whatever hardship they have to face, its roots are deeply grounded in a wide, international network of power plays, secret deals, policy-makers, and corporate interests.

In the forums, our friend Alex “GRIEVER” Rodriguez has started asking questions… and his comments are definitely worth a look. The Big Picture is beginning to take shape, and we hope that today’s update will bring more light to some of the questions he raises. From Mexico to Zambia, there is much to unearth. It’s time to start digging.

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November 28, 2011

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