At a Thursday presentation, a journalist explained how to resist the effects of President Donald Trump, one of which he claimed is a decreased focus on global issues.
The presentation was given by journalist David Barsamian, a former freelance journalist and current director at “Alternative Radio.” Barsamian has worked abroad as a journalist in countries like Pakistan and India to expose political corruption. Through his experiences, Barsamian believes current global issues are being replaced by irrelevant news, some of which is exacerbated by Trump.
For example, Barsamian is concerned with the environment and worried about Trump’s speeches that refute environmental problems. He also believes Trump is avoiding problems of violence by claiming they are all terrorist attacks.
These terrorist claims are part of the global issues that go uncovered by mainstream news outlets, Barsamian said. When in India, Barsamian said their government made similar claims to violent acts. And when journalists like himself tried to expose this, Barsamian said they were shut down. In fact, Barsamian was banned from India when he attempted to expose political corruption.
Although the U.S. practices the freedom of speech, Barsamian said that since Trump is not drawing attention to global problems, they are not being covered by journalists. And even if they are, people are more interested in the Kardashians, as Barsamain said, then global news.
“When a population becomes distracted by media … when a people become an audience, then a nation finds itself at risk,” Barsamian said.
He believes the U.S. is at risk because it is led by people who believe in “magical theories.” For example, President Trump does not think carbon dioxide is a toxic concern and also believes coal is clean.
Part of the way to resist the lure of these “magical theories” is by remembering history, Barsamian said.
“We have to remember the past as an act of resistance,” Barsamian said. “We are able to protect ourselves and insulate ourselves from the danger we are facing.”
Barsamian believes silence encourages problems. For example, Barsamian said West and South Asia are experiencing severe water shortages and are very water distressed.
But Barsamian said there is not much happening to fix this. He relates West and South Asia’s water shortages to climate change that is not being recognized.
Barsamian thinks problems in other countries can be connected to political or military policy issues in the U.S.
Part of “hushing” global problems is that the perpetrators are declared terrorists, regardless of if they have any relation to terrorist groups. He explains this is done to protect the country with the “terrorists.”
“Why is the war on terror proliferating? Could it possibly be related to U.S. policies in the middle east?” Barsamian said.
Another reason why problems are being silenced, Barsamian said, is because of the attacks on journalists. As a former journalist, Barsamian said governments, including the U.S. government, are afraid of the truth.
Barsamian said two journalists in India were recently killed after publishing controversial stories.
“It is very disturbing what’s happening to journalists,” Barsamian said. “Enormous attacks on journalism coming from the highest levels of media.”
Barsamian said government officials like President Trump demote media and try to put away investigative journalism. Barsamian said some journalists have been killed for exposing corruption.
Board of Regents free speech resolution met with mixed reactions on campusThe University of Wisconsin Board of Regents voted earlier this month to approve a resolution which would ramp up punishment Read…
One way to learn the tendencies of news is through the arts, Barsamian said. He argues even fictional books can provide people with information.
“Lots of manifestations in art, in poetry, in literature. I think art is very very important to broaden our horizons … how artists are able to craft beautiful sentences,” Barsamian said.
In addition, Barsamian said people are too focused on media like Facebook. He wants to encourage people to confront political policy issues and said there is nothing that scares governmental officials more than controversial popular agreement and activism.