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Selman wants to elevate the American public's awareness of global events by presenting world news from a credible source in a more visually engaging way.
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The project is a response to the rise of so-called 'soft news' - entertainment-focused news programs and reporting often lacking in content - and domestic news programming, which are said to contribute towards American's lack of knowledge about curent affairs.
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The series can be followed on the BBCX365 website.
Here are the details from Selman:
In 2008 the internet overtook all other outlets for international and national news aside from television. Forty percent of Americans got their news online in 2008, up from twenty-seven percent the previous year. It can be estimated that currently over 50% of Americans use the internet as their main source of news. Nearly six-in-ten Americans younger than 30 (fifty-nine percent) say they get most of their national and international news online (Pew). With the rise in popularity of mobile devices and the continued trajectory of Americans getting their news online; this project will predominantly be based online.
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I will light a fire that spreads beyond your fences and into your house. I will set ablaze your dormant minds. I will turn your preconceptions to smoldering ash. I am the arsonist that will wake you the fuck up.
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I will do this by creating a more visually interesting vehicle for the news, use a credible news source (BBC), and promote, market, and network. I will design a poster a day for 365 days in reaction to a headline on the BBC news website and update my website - - everyday with the poster and the accompanying news story.
Above: Israeli PM Urges West Bank Settlers to Show Restraint, 26 September 2010
The purpose of this project is to promote the awareness of global current events with the American public. ”American citizens know little about current events in general and even less about overseas events” according to The Washington Post in 2006. The article further explains that the reasons for the “unwillingness of American citizens to live up to their civic responsibilities” are due to the supply and content of our news.
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In the article titled “Mind the Gap,” an explanation is given as such: “Driven by market pressures, news organizations across the globe are turning to more entertainment-centered forms of reporting, making it more difficult for lazy citizens to encounter substantive political information as a matter of course. An important consequence of the shift to “soft news” has been the scaling back of international bureaus and staff.”
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Heavily “domesticated” news programming creates fewer opportunities for people to learn about overseas events. Even at the height of the Cold War, when international issues were front-page news, the American public displayed only superficial awareness of overseas events and foreign policy. In the post-Cold War era, despite massive increases in education and access to information, Americans continued to lag behind citizens of other industrialized democracies on measures of international affairs information.
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In 1994, for example, an eight nation survey found that citizens of Mexico, Spain, Italy, Canada, Germany, Britain and France were more able than Americans to provide correct answers to a series of questions tapping foreign affairs. Whereas thirty-seven percent of the American sample was unable to answer a single question, the comparable level of ignorance (averaged) for Italy,France, Britain, Germany and Canada was 19% (Iyengar).
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