Saturday, 11 April 2009

Real World News

Have just about finished (first) drafting the (really heavy - but dont worry it's otherwise a very hopeful book :) first section of my new book. Here are a couple of graphs that really make you think about why is it that the news doesn't actually report what is happening in the world.

The first shows numbers of disasters annually over the last century, the growth mainly comes from weather related events.

On the natural disaster "reported" thing we obviously just dont see most of it. Here is a youtube video showing thedamage caused after a collapsing dam (after heavy rain) in Indonesia two weeks ago described locally as like another Tsunami. The BBC say it killed 'dozens'. Locally they say it killed 100 people - compared to for instance 275 in the Italian quakes. Full story via global voices online, which actually does report the real world news. It's all out there we just need to find ways to take it in.

The second graph shows that 97% of households globally earn less per day than the cover price of the book I am writing (in American $ buying power equivalent - so you have to imagine having that much money to pay for food shelter warmth etc in the USA - and did you actually know that when people say 'a dollar a day' as the extreme poverty level they mean the spending power a dollar a day would have in the USA, the local currency figure is MUCH lower? I didnt).


Tamara said...

I am very excited for your book, already. Congrats on the drafting.

It's amazing what we choose not to hear/see. Eyes wide open...


John Grant said...

Thanks T and happy Easter
May your days be chocolatey and sweet :J

ps I've only done the first section. Or actually almost the second section today. Which means about halfway. But touch wood yes it's REALLY exciting (because it's about what all of us are up to in our little world building schemes which is really exciting)

david Hawksworth said...

Hi John,

Have been thinking a lot recently about the forces that shape the news and how actually the end product is very likely not to be the real news.

- Got about half way through 'Flat Earth News' which perhaps, by the title of your post, you have read but otherwise it explains the reason why pretty well.

-The reports of the way the Hillsborough disaster were reported in the Sun (current because of the 20th anniversary,) where they got it so wrong by placing the story into the pre-exisiting' yob football fans cause chaos' box.

-Charlie Brookers Newswipe shows how 'news culture' has evolved while shaping and deciding 'newsworthiness' as it goes.

Hope some of these are useful...

paul macfarlane said...


May your days and nights be filled with rest and lucid, clear insights that fly onto the page.

I've been passing this round lately....