Monday, December 26, 2011

It's Bad News Week

I'm reading Honduran newspapers on-line these days, trying to get a sense for the zeitgeist of the place before we land there Jan. 16. I must say, things feel a little gloomy based on the headlines. But I did a Google News search today to check in on what was going on in Canada, and the long list of bad-news stories reminded that gloom is just what media do all around the world.
Of the 16 "top stories" Google News had on offer at the time I searched, 14 were about bad things happening somewhere.
A guy dressed up as Santa kills a bunch of people. A Surrey man is shot dead on Christmas Day. Suspicious deaths, missing people, falling polls. Such catastrophic events just seem to be what we consider "news," although I often wonder what we're supposed to do with such news.
Do visitors interpret the nature of Canada based on what they see in our media, just as I'm trying to do with Honduras? If they do, we surely seem a much more dangerous country than we actually are. Maybe that's why those U.S. seniors tried to bust through the border at Aldergrove recently packing all those guns for surviving Canada's untamed wilderness and lawless culture.
For once, it pleases me to be reminded of the media's tendency to draw a country's sorrows into a tidy daily-news package, concentrating the feeling that everything is falling apart. Whether here or in Honduras, there's always more to the story. 

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