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TED2008

Alisa Miller: How the news distorts our worldview

Alisa Miller i storian long saed blong nius.

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Alisa Miller, Publik Radio International, hemi storian from wanem ol nius long US nao i stap makem storian long saed blong ol narafala kantri blong wol tumas. Bombae hemi showem aot stats i grafs.

- CEO, Public Radio International (PRI)
As the CEO of Public Radio International, Alisa Miller works to bring the most significant news stories to millions -- empowering Americans with the knowledge to make choices in an interconnected world. Full bio

How does the news shape the way we see the world?
Hao nao ol nius we i kamaot long ol niuspepa mo narafala wei emi stiarem ol lukluk we yumi gat long saed long wol tedei?
00:18
Here's the world based on the way it looks -- based on landmass.
Hem nao wol we yumi luk luk long hem. Ol difren graon blong wol i luk olsem ia.
00:22
And here's how news shapes what Americans see.
Mo ol nius emi jenjem tin-ting blong ol man Amerika olsem ia nao
00:28
This map -- (Applause) -- this map shows the number of seconds
Map ia. Map ia i soem nam blong ol seken
00:35
that American network and cable news organizations dedicated to news stories,
we olgeta nwetwok blong nius blong Amerika mo ol rigin nius oganaesesen i bin yusum blong talemaot stori long saed blong ol nius
00:49
by country, in February of 2007 -- just one year ago.
long everi kantri raon long wol, long Februari 2007-wan yia i pas nomo.
00:54
Now, this was a month when North Korea agreed to dismantle its nuclear facilities.
Nao long manis ia nao Not Korea i bin agri blong pispisim ol niuklia wok blong olgeta.
00:59
There was massive flooding in Indonesia.
Long Indonesia i gat wan bigfala wota i bin ron
01:05
And in Paris, the IPCC released its study confirming man's impact on global warming.
mo long Paris, IPCC i bin rilisim wan stadi we i talemaot wok blong ol man long saed long global woming.
01:09
The U.S. accounted for 79 percent of total news coverage.
U.S. nomo hemi bin risponsibol from 79 % long ful kavarej blong ol nius ia
01:17
And when we take out the U.S. and look at the remaining 21 percent,
mo taem we yumi tekemaot U.S. mo luk luk long narafala 21 %
01:22
we see a lot of Iraq -- that's that big green thing there -- and little else.
yumi luk plante long Iraq – hemia bigfala grin samting ia long wei – i nogat tumas narafala samting
01:27
The combined coverage of Russia, China and India, for example, reached just one percent.
Tugeta kavarej blong Rasia, Jaena mo India i kasem 1 % nomo.
01:34
When we analyzed all the news stories and removed just one story,
Taem we mifala i putum tugeta ol storian long nius ia mo karemaot wan storian nomo
01:42
here's how the world looked.
hemi soem olsem wanem nao wol hemi luk luk
01:48
What was that story? The death of Anna Nicole Smith.
Wanem nao storian ia? Hemi nius blong ded blong Anna Nicole Smith.
01:50
This story eclipsed every country except Iraq,
Storian ia i bin go long everi kantri long wol be i no kasem Iraq nomo.
01:57
and received 10 times the coverage of the IPCC report.
Mo storian ia i risivim 10 taem bitem kavarej blong ripot blong IPCC.
02:00
And the cycle continues;
mo storian hemi koraon bageken;
02:06
as we all know, Britney has loomed pretty large lately.
olsem yumi save finis – i bin gat planti nius i go raon abaot woman ia Britney.
02:08
So, why don't we hear more about the world?
Be from wanem nao yumi no harem tumas nius long saed blong ol narafala kantri long wol?
02:11
One reason is that news networks have reduced the number of their foreign bureaus by half.
Wan stamba tingting hemi from se ol netwok blong nius oli bin katem haf namba blong ol ofis blong olgeta ovasi.
02:14
Aside from one-person ABC mini-bureaus in Nairobi, New Delhi and Mumbai,
I gat smol ofis blong nius blong ABC nomo i stap long Nairobi, New Delhi, mo Mumbai
02:20
there are no network news bureaus in all of Africa, India or South America
Be i nogat wan ofis blong nius long Afrika, India mo Saot Amerika
02:29
-- places that are home to more than two billion people.
- ol ples ia nao oli haos blong bitim tu billion man
02:37
The reality is that covering Britney is cheaper.
Long tru laef, storian long saed blong woman ia Britney hemi jip nomo
02:43
And this lack of global coverage is all the more disturbing
mo taem i nogat tumas nius long saed blong ol narafala kantri hemi no gud.
02:48
when we see where people go for news.
Taem yumi luk luk ol ples we ol man oli go blong kasem nius
02:51
Local TV news looms large,
nius long TV blong netwok we i stap long wanwan kantri blong yumi -USA- hemi big wan moa
02:54
and unfortunately only dedicates 12 percent of its coverage to international news.
be sori tumas ol storian ia i gat 12 % nomo i stap kavaremap intanasonal nius
02:58
And what about the web?
Be olsem wanem long saed blong intanet?
03:03
The most popular news sites don't do much better.
Ol popula websaet blong nius i nogat tumas nius long hem.
03:05
Last year, Pew and the Colombia J-School analyzed the 14,000 stories
Long las yia, Pew mo Colombia J-School, olgeta oli bin luk luk long planti nuis storian, we i bitim 14,000 stori
03:09
that appeared on Google News' front page.
we i kamaot long fored blong google
03:14
And they, in fact, covered the same 24 news events.
mo olgeta ia tu i stap storian long ol semak nuis nomo we i bin kamaot finis
03:17
Similarly, a study in e-content showed that much of global news from U.S. news creators
mo tu, stadi ia, i telemoat se ol nuis netwok blong US oli stap storian long saed blong ol narafala kantri
03:21
is recycled stories from the AP wire services and Reuters,
mo ol storian ia oli semak long ol storian blong ol AP waea sevis mo reutas.
03:26
and don't put things into a context that people can understand their connection to it.
mo olgeta ia i no tanem nius ia nating blong mekem sua se ol man oli save kasem evri samting long storian ia
03:30
So, if you put it all together, this could help explain why today's college graduates,
sapos yu putum tugeta olgeta samting ia, bae hemi save telemoat from wanem nao ol man we oli bin finisim Univesiti
03:34
as well as less educated Americans,
mo ol man Amerika we oli no skul gud
03:39
know less about the world than their counterparts did 20 years ago.
oli no save plante abot wol bitim ol fren blong olgeta 20 yia i pas finis
03:41
And if you think it's simply because we are not interested,
mo sapos yu ting se hemi from se ol man Amerika i no gat tumas interes
03:44
you would be wrong.
hemi no stret ting ting
03:50
In recent years, Americans who say they closely follow global news most of the time
i no long taem nating i pas, taem mifala i bin toktok long ol man Amerika we oli stap folem ol nius oltaem
03:52
grew to over 50 percent.
oli bin go antap long 50 %
03:59
The real question: is this distorted worldview what we want for Americans
Stret kwestin hemi : hemia stret luk luk long wol we yumi wantem blong ol man Amerika
04:01
in our increasingly interconnected world?
long wol tedei we i nogat gudfala koneksen oltaem.
04:09
I know we can do better.
Mi save se yumi save mekem i moa gud.
04:12
And can we afford not to? Thank you.
Bae yumi save mekem o nogat? Tank yu tumas.
04:15
Translated by Melissa Barnes

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About the speaker:

Alisa Miller - CEO, Public Radio International (PRI)
As the CEO of Public Radio International, Alisa Miller works to bring the most significant news stories to millions -- empowering Americans with the knowledge to make choices in an interconnected world.

Why you should listen

Alisa Miller wants to define the future of how people will engage with storytelling and technology. She's CEO of PRI, Public Radio International, and is leading the organization’s transformation from a creator and distributor of news and audio into a multiplatform medium that informs and enables millions of people to act on stories that move them. An advocate for global perspectives in the news, she recently launched the Across Women's Lives Initiative at the Clinton Global Initiative to increase news coverage and engagement around global women’s issues.

BONUS: Watch Alisa Miller's talk "We need more women represented in media" on the TED Archive.

More profile about the speaker
Alisa Miller | Speaker | TED.com