The #1 Factor That Differentiates Spanish News from American News (And It Isn’t the Language)

You would think while watching the news from Sevilla, Spain I would hear mostly news pertaining to Spain. After all, when I watch the news from my hometown in the United States, it seems like all I ever hear about are robberies and shootings from the state capital. That, and a rundown of whatever is going on in United States politics.

In reality, the Spanish people are extremely well informed on what is happening in the U.S. Not only the presidential race, but also other huge nationwide events and controversies of which Americans themselves may be oblivious. The past few days as I’ve been eating dinner and watching television with my host mom, we have seen news clips pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. On Spanish news I have watched Americans protesting for justice and African Americans speaking to the camera with their voice dubbed in Spanish. Today, I read an article on a Spanish news website describing protests in California after an African American was killed by police gunshot. Every night while I watch the news there is mention of Obama.

Every Spanish person knows who Trump and Clinton are. My host mom is exhausted from watching news about the two nominees, to which I responded, “And you don’t even have to choose!” After the Presidential Debate this past week, Trump and Clinton were all over the news.

If I were to ask you what is going on in Spain right now, would you have an answer?

As an American who just arrived in Spain two weeks ago, I feel ignorant. I quite literally have no idea what is going on in any other area of the world unless it relates to the U.S. Currently, Spain is also going through an election cycle. There is a huge crisis in Spain’s Socialist party, with many claiming the Socialists are on the verge of civil war and possibly the end of the Socialist party. While Spaniards are following news from around the world as well as their own nation, American news channels are broadcasting information almost exclusively about the U.S.

I am not claiming Americans must stay updated on every piece of news that comes out of all 196 countries in the world. I am simply deliberating why most of us don’t care to find out about huge conflicts abroad unless our country is involved?

U.S news is not diverse because most Americans do not care about elections, nationwide movements, and terrorism in other countries. It does not matter if Americans are involved; if crisis strikes, we must care.

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