In Guy Berger’s piece “How the Internet Impacts on International News: Exploring Paradoxes of the Most Global Medium in a Time of ‘Hyperlocalism'”, the author discusses the lack of international news flow within the United States. Indeed, foreign news content within the U.S. is very low, and most of the time news coverage is angled in order to appeal to a national audience or is often misrepresented and skewed. These past few weeks, the only international news stories that have been covered are the cases of the missing Malaysia flight 907 and the crisis in Ukraine. Both CNN and MSNBC, major American international news outlet, are the main sources for this type of coverage. Even within the age of the Internet, Berger explains that there are many constraints for Americans to access international news sources. One of the constraints that Berger discusses is the “law of locality” which creates “gated cybercommunities”, limiting access for Americans to external news sources and favouring their own archive over content that is foreign. This is particularly worrisome in an era where the Internet is supposed to enable people to connect with the world in ways that it couldn’t have been done before.
However, there is hope. Vice magazine is here to change things. An article in Foreign Policy entitled “Can Vice Make News Hip?” by Elias Groll explains how Vice has found new ways to attract young Americans to be interested in international coverage that isn’t necessarily shown within the mainstream media.
“If you turn on the TV right now and turn to CNN, chances are you’re going to end up getting six hours about the Malaysian airliner,” Suroosh Alvi, one of Vice’s co-founders and the host of Friday’s segment about drone strikes, told Foreign Policy in an interview. “I’m actually stunned as to the volume of coverage about this plane. It’s like nothing else is happening in the world. They are thereby making our jobs very easy to give our audience what they want, which is stories about the rest of the world.”
Vice has managed to revert the trend of shifting away from foreign coverage with their documentary-style footage to entice young Americans into knowing more about the world. And they’re here to stay.