Information about the world is becoming increasingly accessible for people from all over the world. In the last ten years internet access has increased with 480%. Some people are, therefore, calling the world a global village. This term refers to the growing trend of expanding possibilities within communication. Time and space are irrelevant to a certain degree for anyone who has access to internet. Borders seem to dissolve and distance no longer exists. Anyone can communicate with anyone.
Even though people have increasing access to information and communication methods, this does not necessarily mean that this is leading to a global understanding from one culture to the next. Many people have no idea of the dynamics that inhibit other regions of the world than where they themselves live. For a long time this was not a problem because chances were low that they would come in contact with these cultures. Now, however, this is completely different. This phenomenon is called Global Casino, the counterpart of the term Global Village we are randomly guessing what is true on the other side of the world. The stakes are getting higher and higher until these guesses seem more like gambling. Through betting on what might be true, without possessing understanding of other cultures, large mistakes can be made.
In our view, traditional mainstream media are not sufficiently promoting global understanding. An aspect of each news item is that it is new and that it is urgent. When following the news, a web of short and fastly changing messages need to be passed before the background of a story can be discovered, assuming it can be discovered. Next, the high level of perishableness of news sets in. Yesterday’s newspapers are filling today’s paper bins. The news from yesterday is forgotten today. The news from today is forgotten tomorrow. This lack of background and high perishibleness makes us wonder: does following the news really contribute to one’s understanding of the world?
Understanding the world is difficult within the trend of rising complexity. One person’s frame of reference is not the frame of reference of the other. Even though we know more about each other, it is important to see the shifts in frames of reference from one person to the next. Correspondents of traditional news media are saddled up with the impossible task of understanding the local issues and interpreting them to the world. As this is a costly task, this leads to an extreme generalization of the news and much copying of news items from one media outlet to another. Despite the growing complexity of the world we live in, traditional news media are following the trend of simplification and replication of the news.
These are the gaps that Bloggers Without Borders will try to fulfill. We are not led by breaking news. We are interested in creating a platform where people can find continuing background news. When a news item has long been forgotten, our bloggers tell you about the aftermath of a certain event. This can create much more understanding than a minute-to-minute update on what is happening when an item is urgent. Our bloggers are not reporters or correspondents who need to capture large area’s that they are not native to, our bloggers are experts on the area through social connection. This way, Bloggers Without Borders will try to promote understanding on a global scale. Through our local bloggers it is possible to switch frames of reference, to see something through their eyes. Not only because this is better, but because this is indispensable in the world we know today.
Sanne van Oosten and Davey Meelker