Saturday, July 24, 2010

Two cheers... but still missing something

I haven't mentioned yet how pleased I am with the BBC's new website.  Not because it's more spaced out, bu the fact that they have finally separated the Americas in two, with Latin America and the Caribbean separate from the US and Canada.

My main grumble with the previous version had been that too often Latin America was overshadowed by 'American' news.  However, just changing the format isn't enough.  There's a broader problem with Latin American coverage in Britain and just looking at the news today demonstrates that.  What counts as news from Latin America for the BBC constitutes the following: football, poverty, violence, drugs, crime (and if drug-related crime can be presented, so much the better), animals and Hugo Chavez.

Out here in the Middle East Edward Said's work on 'orientalism' was very instructive about the way that the 'West' has perceived and shaped impressions of this part of the world.  Maybe there's a similar word to describe how the West shapes its views about Latin America?  If so, I'd really like to know it.

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