In Hafez' article, "International Reporting," he takes a critical view as to the real effects of international reporting and does not see it as a globalizing factor. He criticizes international reporting by discussing the idea of decontextualization and the idea that it is a result of media consumers' limited knowledge of foreign settings. This immediately reminded me of the case of the capsizing boat in Orissa as described by Chouliarki in her article, "Symbolic Power of Transnational Media," in which she discussed the difference between extraordinary news and ordinary news and the factors that decide how the media will portray events of suffering. In the case of the capsized boat, the media had a short segment on the event, dehumanizing it all, only showing a red dot on a map as the story was told. The media is assuming (and probably rightly so) that its consumers do not have a clue where the Orissa province of India is, making it less important, and making a map necessary. They choose not to make this news event a teachable moment to talk more about the province -it's history or significance, because they assume that the consumer probably does not care. Because the consumer probably does not care, they are satisfied with simply throwing a red dot on a map and quickly telling the story which leaves the consumers no more interested or worried about the region than they were before the broadcast.
Note how this cycle of decontextualization does nothing to increase consumer knowledge or concern, nor does it do anything to affect social movement or aid for the situation at hand. Is this cycle the fault of the media or the fault of consumers? If the media assumes that a story is of no interest to its consumers then why would they report any more on it than they feel they have to? Perhaps the media should take it upon themselves to find more ways to connect these types of stories with its audience. If consumers are only really attracted to cases of suffering that affect people like themselves, then the media could at least use that knowledge to make the effort to report these stories in such a way so that consumers can understand how the suffering of these people could somewhat affect them. The media could also put more effort into making such stories more personal, showing the suffering of the people and devastation even though they may be 'the other.' Upon reading studies of the affects of international news and reporting, it is very apparent that biases and ratings cloud and hinder these forms of media from being a truly globalizing force.
Chouliarki, Lilie "The symbolic power of transnational media: Managing the visibility of suffering"
Hafez, Kai "International Reporting"