I love Google News. Bringing headlines from news organizations from around the world to my computer screen, I can read about any given news story from hundreds of different sources and perspectives. I used to frequent www.CNN.com, but now it has been deleted from my Favorites list in favor of the globally-minded list of sources from Google.
Take, for example, the innaugeration of Evo Morales as the new President of Bolivia. He is the first indiginous person to be elected leader of any country in the American hemisphere, and a former leader of the left-wing cocoa growers association. How has the world’s press reacted?
Many of the headlines describe his election as part of a left-leaning trend in Latin American politics – and for some news organizations, this is an ominous trend. Other headlines celebrate the first-ever election of an indiginous American to national leadership. Some headlines sensationalize President Morales’ background as a cocoa farmer, and others focus on his pledge to work with the US in the war on drugs.
So what’s the story on this guy? Is he a radical, weak-on-drugs socialist or a quintessential New World success story, a symbol of national unity, and sign of hope for a new Bolivia? It all depends on where you get your news.
I imagine that in the press reports of Jesus’ day most of the news about him would have been muted (at best), misinformed or filled with government propoganda. Perhaps a few news organizations in Galillee would have offered favorable reports, whereas the Jerusalem and Roman elite would have likely looked askance at this wondering prophet making world-altering claims about God, Kingdom and Life. Thank God for diverse voices.
Of course, we can’t read hundreds of news articles about each world or local event, but I think we owe it to ourselves to glance at the varied headlines over at Google News, and ask ourselves if we’re well-served by limiting our news sources to Reuters, AP or CNN. Because you never know when one news agency’s ominous headline will turn out to be another organization’s lead story of hope.