Seek out balanced journalism. Assume commercial news is entertainment — it thrives on making storms (whether political, military, terrorist-related, or actual bad weather) as exciting as they can get away with in order to increase their audience so they can charge more for advertising. Money propels virtually all media. Realize any information that comes to you has an agenda. If already consuming lots of TV news, read a progressive alternative source that's not so corporation-friendly (such as The Nation magazine, www.thenation.com).
Read books that explain the economic and political basis of issues you've stumbled onto in your travels. A basic understanding of the economics of poverty, the politics of empire, and the power of corporations are life skills that give you a foundation to better understand what you experience in your travels. Information that mainstream media considers “subversive” won't come to you. You need to reach out for it. The following are a few of the books (listed in chronological order) that have shaped and inspired my thinking over the years: Bread for the World (Arthur Simon), Food First (Frances Moore Lappe), The Origins of Totalitarianism (Hannah Arendt), Future in our Hands (Erik Dammann), Manufacturing Consent (Noam Chomsky), War Against the Poor: Low-Intensity Conflict and Christian Faith (Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer), Unexpected News: Reading the Bible with Third World Eyes (Robert McAfee Brown), The United States of Europe (T.R. Reid), The European Dream (Jeremy Rifkin), and The End of Poverty (Jeffrey Sachs).
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About This Entry
You are reading "Putting Your Global Perspective into Action at Home, Part 5", an entry posted on 07 May 2010 by Rick Steves.