Access to news is not something I take for granted.
This thought did not originate in a lecture hall, as many others have, but rather the two years I spent living out of Australia, with unpredictable and often non-existent internet access. It’s a long story, but all you need to know at this point is that it involves an old ship, humanitarian work, thirty-something countries and, of course, no internet.
Within those two years, Australia elected a new prime minister, which I was completely unaware of until I received an email from my father, days later. The few stories I did receive were fragments of world news, in the form of small text rolling endlessly across the bottom of a television screen on deck five.
I Was There
Despite complete disconnection from the media, I found alternative methods of tuning into the news. Because you see, I was surrounded by it.
I knew about the the water crisis in Mozambique, because I was there, waiting for rain with the rest of the country. I knew that Antigua and Barbuda had been devastated by Hurricane Irma, because I was there, the victims telling me how grateful they were to be alive. I knew what was happening in the world because I was a part of it. I was there.
Needless to say, I now consume news every day, conventionally. I read it, I watch it, I listen to it, and someday I’d like to write it. I’m naturally attracted to world news, because by experiencing the world I learned to care for it.
And I believe good journalism, good television, can make our world a better place.Christiane Amanpour
But it’s important to tune into events unfolding beyond your own shores regardless of whether you’ve traveled that far. Your cultural understanding will broaden if you simply pay attention, but I believe that you will also learn compassion and empathy, and cultivate a greater appreciation of life and the world you’re in. Because you’re there.