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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default Reporting on the US in the UK

    http://www.channel4.com/news/us-guns

    I found this page of stories on the Channel 4 news website after watching a broadcast in which they first reported on some adolescent girl who was killed in a shooting when she and her friends took shelter from the rain some place and was mistaken for rival gang members by a gang member with a gun, they said they would be running a series of special reports entitled Guns In America.

    Its not just the topics of guns per se that I'm interested in discussing here but why events or politics in the US get so much coverage in the UK and whether they get as much coverage in other parts of the world? Is it because the US is a cultural hegemon? Or is it just because the US is another major english speaking world centre?

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    I think people in the US don't realize that much of the rest of the world has a 50-50 split on host-country/US news, and subsequently gets as invested in these events, as they do their own stories (or at least nearly).

    In every country I lived, you'd think US was next door, and the actual neighbouring continent, was on another hemisphere.

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    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Il Morto Che Parla View Post
    I think people in the US don't realize that much of the rest of the world has a 50-50 split on host-country/US news...
    That is certainly odd. Diplomatic and military topics would make sense, but domestic issues...that's surprising.
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    Sounds very likely to be due to cultural hegemony. I rarely watch television and get my news from the Internet but from what I do see it revolves around Hollywood, celebrity news or incidents like the Sandy Hook shooting. As for other countries that's difficult to determine as my holidays in various European locales have all had access to BBC, CNN and Sky news which in turn have their fair share of reporting about the US and through that get the exposure. As for the native channels that depends whether they look to the USA as a cultural hegemony or not. I can imagine France not doing so as from what I understand it considers itself a cultural superpower but Germany and Italy would probably have bigger exposure to the US markets.

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standuble View Post
    Sounds very likely to be due to cultural hegemony. I rarely watch television and get my news from the Internet but from what I do see it revolves around Hollywood, celebrity news or incidents like the Sandy Hook shooting. As for other countries that's difficult to determine as my holidays in various European locales have all had access to BBC, CNN and Sky news which in turn have their fair share of reporting about the US and through that get the exposure. As for the native channels that depends whether they look to the USA as a cultural hegemony or not. I can imagine France not doing so as from what I understand it considers itself a cultural superpower but Germany and Italy would probably have bigger exposure to the US markets.
    I'm inclined to think it has something to do with hegemony, there's nothing like the same reportage on France, Germany, Italy, all of which are some how lumped together as "Europe" of which "Britain" is somehow "not a part" but has a "relationship" with, which is weird considering all the membership of the EU and being central to a lot of the key political and economic convergence since the common market.

    Even while reporting is higher than usual, for instance the negotiations surrounding the German's voting to increase, maintain or cut spending during the bail out battles between the EU and US as to who would be the real spending economy for the next couple of years to reverse recession pressures (the US caved eventually having to underwrite lending in their economy, I dont remember the details, even though it was comparatively recent) there's not a lot and its all reported as though it was an alien culture and community.

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    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    I think consumption of American media has made people interested in its social culture.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'm inclined to think it has something to do with hegemony, there's nothing like the same reportage on France, Germany, Italy, all of which are some how lumped together as "Europe" of which "Britain" is somehow "not a part" but has a "relationship" with, which is weird considering all the membership of the EU and being central to a lot of the key political and economic convergence since the common market.

    Even while reporting is higher than usual, for instance the negotiations surrounding the German's voting to increase, maintain or cut spending during the bail out battles between the EU and US as to who would be the real spending economy for the next couple of years to reverse recession pressures (the US caved eventually having to underwrite lending in their economy, I dont remember the details, even though it was comparatively recent) there's not a lot and its all reported as though it was an alien culture and community.
    I suspect that is all due to the media's perception of the British public. They believe the public do not want to know about foreign economics and the like (even though plenty of people like to complain about it) and those who do can find the information easy enough if they search for it. However they believe celebrity news and gossip interests the public more thus is reported more on mainstream news channels. I don't think it really is treated as an alien entity per se, it's just that the USA has the biggest celebrity culture last time I checked and over time it has become a fixation to the point where even celebrities from outside the North American and UK spheres are treated as non-entities. Perhaps that fixation had its origins at the end of WW2, I can't say. If the attitude changed then we would probably receive better feedback from "the continent."

    I'm just speculating here however.

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    I spent 90 days in Europe in 2010. (Not in the UK, though.) I was surprised how little coverage of the U.S. there was in the news. The main thing I heard about was that freaking oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It got to the point that there were times I almost felt that the U.S. didn't exist anymore I heard so little about it. Of course, when I got back to the U.S., it literally took me weeks to catch up with all the news I had missed. When I was in Europe, I was mostly listening to the news in English, although I do have some very basic knowledge of a few other languages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Il Morto Che Parla View Post
    I think people in the US don't realize that much of the rest of the world has a 50-50 split on host-country/US news, and subsequently gets as invested in these events, as they do their own stories (or at least nearly).

    In every country I lived, you'd think US was next door, and the actual neighbouring continent, was on another hemisphere.
    Canadian perspective time...

    They are our actual neighbor, but we get a spit of about 30/70 American vs Canadian coverage during those rare points where there isn't something ridiculous/controversial happening. however, since the gun control debate has flared up again it feels like the spilt is now more like 50/50. currently we don't have too many interesting things to talk about in our own country, other than the keystone pipeline and the weather and patrick brazeau, so that also has an effect with the amount of american content we have in our news programs.

    I think it must be said that our interest in the gun debate, aside from the anger that twenty dead children stirs, has a lot to do with the fact their guns are coming over the border into Canada and are being used in crimes throughout our country. what they decide or don't decide to do directly effects our population, hence our amount of news segments devoted to our dysfunctional friend to the south.
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    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    [URL="http://www.channel4.com/news/us-guns"] Is it because the US is a cultural hegemon? Or is it just because the US is another major english speaking world centre?
    Mostly the cultural hegemony (although 'pop-culture hegemony through sheer quantity' might be a better way to say it); in the case of Britain, there's also what might be viewed as an enticing combination of familiarity and difference between the 'two countries separated by a common language', as well as Cold War inertia from the time when the United States was viewed in some circles as the inheritor of the British Empire's role in promoting and defending Anglo-saxon culture and institutions.

    In the case of 'guns in America', its likely a kind of backlash against cultural hegemony, promoting cultural cohesion within the framework of current laws and attitudes by 'othering' the United States in areas where we differ.

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