Through The Looking Glass

We tend to see things that we deem as ‘other’ in a light or bias, consciously or subconsciously. In the terms of Westerns viewing news programs and aspects of Asian society, we tend to accidentally view them in a view known as ‘orientalism’. This can be seen in the way the Australian media trivialised reports from Indian media about student bashing in Capital cities, or the way we view members of middle eastern countries with a bias we weren’t aware we had.
When thinking of countries such as Iran and Iraq, we automatically resort to what we’ve learnt in the media, which has been predominantly pictures of terrorism, bombings, destruction and extremist behaviour. We view this as threatening to both our culture and own personal safety. However this isn’t at all an accurate representation of the people that populate these countries. This ‘oritenatalist’ view completely ignores the real people living in those countries, experiencing the same fears, emotions, life events and general experience of humanity as us, although in a slightly different cultural reference frame.
Even the reporter on these issues may accidentally exaggerate them. Instead of getting advice from people living in the areas that are affected by wars, that would have first hand experience on the impacts and reasons for occurrence, journalists tend to rely on white, middle-aged, male “experts”. Whilst they might have done a large amount of theoretical, secondary and even primary research, they still are limited or bias to their Westernised view, which has been ingrained in them since birth.
It’s important to always look deeper into news stories, and critically evaluate opinions and view points from every possible outlook.


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