In the article, “International Reporting-‘No Further than Columbus,’” author Kai Hefez defines international reporting as the journalistic coverage of realities outside the home state. Hefez makes the point very early on in the article that international reporting tends to reflect the interests and cultural values of the country doing the reporting instead of the country being reported on. International reporting also tends to “Otherize” the area and people being reported on.
The article takes its title from Meg Greenfield’s comment in the Washington Post about the American media’s lack of understanding of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in the late 1970’s. She wrote that American media are ‘no further than Columbus’ who presumed early Native Americans were Indians, in breaking through cultural stereotypes and assumptions.
I feel that Hefez’s example of the Olympics really illustrated how world event coverage really becomes a nationalized event. It is especially obvious with the Olympics, because it is a competition between nations. In terms of television broadcast news, I think a lot of it has to do with the limited amount of prime time in which to air the coverage. It is impossible to give every nation equal time on every single event. Most Americans are rooting for the United States to win, the US games are aired during the times most Americans watch television. At the same time, I think a lot about culture could be learned by watching Swedish curling and Syrian handball (as boring as they may be).
I’m going a little off topic here, but I think that a nation’s popular sports say a lot about the culture. For example, American football, a comparatively violent sport, is huge in the US because we like to watch violence and spectacle. Football is rather expensive- the padding and equipment cost money. Professional football players in the NFL make huge amounts of money. We give full scholarships for students to play football and other sports. On the other hand, football (soccer) is the most widely played and watched popular sport in Central and South America. Soccer requires only a ball and two goals. Poorer nations gravitate towards soccer because it costs less and it is less involved with money.