On the need to read the damn newspapers

Factoid # 2 about mainstream media, so derided by those who prefer ignorance or propaganda:

When the military junta in Myanmar went on a genocidal rampage against Rohingya Muslims in Arakan state in 2012, most of the world had never heard of the Rohingya. Genocide was Myanmar’s dirty secret. But the internet made it possible to access media from around the world & to find out who they were & why they were fleeing.

There were no books available in the library about Rohingya Muslims. So I spent weeks pouring through media reports no matter what the political persuasion; human rights reports, reports & public statements by the junta, & every resource I could find until I understood what was going on. That’s when I began writing about these extraordinary people & their struggle against genocide.

Unless you want to remain a dumpkoff all your life, you have to read mainstream media. You don’t read it uncritically but you also don’t approach it as if you’ll catch diphtheria from exposure. Above all in politics, don’t admire stupid.