Hans Rosling from Gapminder explains why the media cannot and does not provide us with an accurate understanding of what’s happening globally.

The idea seems a bit obvious, but how often is it actually articulated? If it’s not doom, gloom, scandal, or a puppy doing something cute, it doesn’t make the nightly news cut. The resultant product leaves the casual viewer with a skewed view on the state of global affairs.

You need more than the media to grasp the world

You need more than the media to grasp the world

Posted by Gapminder on Friday, September 4, 2015

The reporter asserts that the media reports on the state of the world as it is, that there is, “war, conflict, chaos.” Rosling immediately objects to this notion:

“That was wrong, you are wrong, straight up wrong!” he says. “There was a fantastic election in Nigeria. A democratic election in the largest nation in Africa, where a semi-capable government was replaced by a very competent leader now. Muhammadu, the new one, got support from the entire population. The fantastic election in Indonesia last year. The progress in India. Yesterday, India was declared free from tetanus.”

The reporter fires back that Nigeria is entrenched in war against Boko Haram.

“Yes, that is in a small part of Nigeria, not the rest. Nigeria has fast economic growth and falling child mortality.

If you only choose to show my shoe, it’s a very ugly shoe and it’s just a part of me. If you choose to show my face, that’s a very different thing.

You only show a small part of the world, and call it “the world.”

The big difference, that girls go to school, that children are vaccinated, that most people have electricity at home. That people are capable and professionals around the world. That is important to show but happens so slowly.

Video link here.

Follow Kemberlee Kaye on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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