Thursday, June 23, 2011

What happens to old news?

Last night - just before falling asleep in bed - i was squinting to read the rolling Sky News 'breaking news' captions at the bottom of my tv screen.

I was disturbed to see 'Tsunami Alert in Japan as 6.8 magnitude earthquake hits off coast', but the actual news reader wasn't referring to it at all. I lay there for almost 30 minutes to see if it would eventually feature, but No. Endless old interviews with jaded politicians about the state of the world and the wars, but nothing about the Tsunami alert or the earthquake.

I have to admit - although I was thinking of the many potential victims and sending them Loving Compassion - I fell fast asleep none the wiser.

When i awoke this morning, feeling like a 'bad buddhist' and a worse human being for falling asleep, my immediate reaction was to check Sky News again to see what had happened during the night in Japan... 

NOTHING! It was just as if the mini-headline had never happened! No mention whatsoever!
Over coffee i went online to see if the BBC website had anything... nothing! Nothing anywhere at all.

So now i am left with the impression that the news alert about the earthquake/tsunami was a broadcast mistake or just so unimportant that it didn't warrant a further mention... 

Even if there had been no wave or no damage as a result of the quake shouldn't there be somewhere for us to get information about what actually DID happen? 
Shouldn't there be some kind of 'OLD NEWS' channel where we could follow up on all those stories that seem to disappear off the face of the earth?

We seem to have generated an INSATIABLE appetite for up-to-the-minute Breaking News stories, but not much interest in what happened next or the deeper meaning behind anything.

Another night i fell asleep the same way while worrying about a similar breaking news caption that seemed to be saying how masses of ordinary Chinese people were rising up in the south of the country... I had visions of people power overthrowing despots and corrupt local government officials such as we have been witnessing all across the Arab countries. 'Finally', i thought to myself. 'Here we go!'

But, O No... NOTHING! No TV news story. No follow up. No nothing!

Then i got to thinking about all the news stories that DID make it to our TV screens and newspapers for a time but which eventually got dropped without trace after their moment in the sun... Big stories that seem to have had little or no follow up... 
Couldn't our imagined and much longed-for 'OLD NEWS' channel keep us informed of all that too?

I wondered about our beloved Aung San Suu Kyi.

Where is she now? 
What does she do all day? 
What is going on in Burma? 
Why hasn't there been an over-throw there?

... I can't believe she was simply elected leader of Burma all those years ago, imprisoned by a military junta under house-arrest for decades, then released finally before a gathering of the world's press, then... NOTHING!

In the spirit of following up... Please enjoy these interesting and inspiring reports on Aung San Suu Kyi and the current state of inertia in Burma:

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