Parochial, US?

When I first visited the US (at age 18), I was struck by how much the mainstream media focused on domestic events. ‘How parochial’, I thought. Not like Australia, where our media covers lots of things happening outside the country.

But yesterday, I had the same reaction about my own country. Listening to ABC News Radio on my cycle home (yes Mikel, I bought that bike radio), the Super Tuesday results were item number four. IMHO, the most important day for the most exciting set of primaries in decades should have been items one, two, and three. But maybe I’m just turning into a US politics tragic…

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8 Responses to Parochial, US?

  1. Brendan says:

    Andrew, surely that all depends on what were stories 1, 2 and 3. While sharing the level of interest in the US election cycle as yourself, friends have expressed frustration at the level of coverage of the US primaries – what do we care? Eye of the beholder, etc, I guess.

  2. Kymbos says:

    I just wish they’d do them all on one day. Kind of like an ‘election’. I’ve disengaged until I know who’s going to win the Democrat race, then I’ll pay attention again.

  3. Matt C says:

    I agree with you Andrew, but I was berated by a friend yesterday for being complicit in turning Australia into the “51st state”. Yawn. She thought the primaries should receive less coverage, not more.

  4. conrad says:

    If you stop watching ABC and SBS and start watching the mainstream media (like most Australians), I think you’ll find that world events are not so important in Australia.

  5. Leon says:

    Aren’t you implicitly showing that events in the US are disproportionately important, and Americans’ parochialism may be justified?

  6. Vee says:

    I have to disagree with you about your view of Australia at the age of 18 and I daresay for a little while after.

    In about 95, out here in the bush before SBS, where we had only just got channel 9 and 10 in the year or two before that, I noticed that 7/Prime, 9 and 10 were all quite focused on the domestic market and parochial.

    The only channel that provided a broader view, a view of international events at the time was the ABC.

  7. Paul says:

    Personally suspect reluctance exists amongst media and political practitioners out of real fear the Australian people may suddenly decide, then demand, similar primary style campaigns for individual party members to determine who will be selected to be their candidates on their ballot papers to be selected by them to be Governor-General.


  8. Dale Bailey says:

    I went to Boston in 1982 on a post-grad posting and was immediately struck by how different a number things were in the US. You are absolutely right about the parochialism of the US, esp. the evening news. I recall that it started with local (Boston) news, then there was coverage of Massachusetts, then the US and maybe something international in a note at the end. It was a huge contrast to what I had been used to in Sydney. I still think our news has balance. Having one US party’s primaries reported a couple of items in is probably about right. It’s not the Presidential election, just yet. It is an interesting dynamic, though. Oh, the other things that were different?…..they ate their broccoli in salads RAW, they didn’t produce all of their own produce (e.g., bananas came from Latin America) and the light switches’ polarities were reversed (up was ON, not OFF). And I nearly had the almost mandatory run-in with a waiter who persisted in asking me what I wanted for my entre when I had clearly stated that I did not want a starter!

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