Many of us think that local news, national news and global news are all separate… but if our local news is global to someone else, it is somehow all connected. My class had the chance to speak with Maria Balinska, Editor and Chief of Latitude News, whose mission is just that – to merge the local and global news spheres into one.
There are many day-to-day issues we face that people across the world face too. It is unique to see how different legislations and governments both face these issues and how the results differ. For example, the use of plastic shopping bags across the globe. Here in the US you can get a discount on your groceries or a happy nod from the cashier if you bring your own bags… or at least the self-satisfaction that you’re keeping with one less piece of plastic from ending up in a landfill. But, thousands of miles from here in Ireland there is a tax on the use of plastic shopping bags. Charging about 22 Euro cents per bag at the store on top of your grocery bill (equal to 33 cents per bag in USD). This charge instituted a 94% drop in the use of plastic shopping bags in the first week of its institution, according to the New York Times. The US has taken a far less forceful approach to the use of plastic bags, stimulating knowledge and awareness to be the spur for the personal choice to switch to a more eco-friendly option… but which option is better? This example of the use of plastic shopping bags brings together what you see in your local grocery store and brings it across the world. These facets of journalism sometimes get lost- this globalized perspective is an important one to realize. We often do not, or cannot make the connection that a minor change here may be catastrophic somewhere else or the other way around.
I touched on this idea of local vs global in a post I did sometime back, of food shortages from poor growing seasons. How here in the US our milk may be more expensive and the prices of bread and grains, but across the world it is causing full on food shortages. Families are instituting ‘food free days’ where they do not eat, in order to save the money so they can. It is incredible to see the massive parallels in the happenings across the globe and to realize we are all much more connected then we think.