A few weeks ago I wrote about my frustration over CBC’s exposure of the detailed minutiae of Donald Trump’s U.S. presidency and American politics as a whole. Not just CBC, but all over Canadian TV and splashed all over the internet.
I received a number of responses to that column from neighbours and friends equally disinterested in the finer points of contention over the daily tweets and I mentioned to one or two people that my preferred way of dealing with Trump trivia (and recently Trudeau-overload) was to turn off the TV and go to BBC World on the internet.
I should explain, as I have a couple of times, I have had a long-standing appreciation of the BBC’s way of doing things for many years. Notwithstanding its own understandable fascination with the Royal Family, the BBC world news just seems to me to be both comprehensive and often very complete.
There’s plenty of Trump on there too, but the BBC’s world seems bigger yet crisper, more participatory, thorough, while less detailed (if you want more detail, the links are all there). It seems more universal – and while it’s the same news the rest of the world could be reporting, it has a third-party ‘less-political’ feel about it. I tend to believe it!
As an example – on my laptop, as I’m hunting and pecking out these words, I have the BBC World a click away. I peruse the headlines, and yes, there’s Trump in Poland, the North Korea missile crisis, the Hamburg G20 protest shenanigans that are all over our TV news – “all the news that’s fit to print” and video.
But on the opening page my eye jumps to a compellingly unexpected headline, “Did Amelia Earhart die a Japanese prisoner?” Interesting, I’ll check that in a minute. And another, “Colombia to salvage sunken Spanish galleon.” Visions of plundered gold bullion and buried treasure chests.
While I’m briefly checking that one out – another catches my eye, “Why I climbed Ben Nevis in high heels.” Not world shattering, but I had to look and see why any British male student would climb Scotland’s highest mountain in five-inch high heels. If you want the answer – Google will take you there…
You can start this diversion from normal any time, any day – we’ve all browsed idly and then wondered where the hours went – it’s a bottomless well.
Then, like most large international websites, at the bottom of what I would call the “current attractions” page are the dangerous open doorways to more unlimited browsing in the topics area – after the selected geographical directions – matters like arts, music, weather, automotive, culture, food, nature, earth, the future. Each leads to more and more…
So, if you too are fed up to here with Trump, Trudeau, Christy Clark, forest fires, great weather everywhere but here, murder, crime, house prices in Vancouver – try my solution.
BBC World is one of a million distractions, but I like it and escape there frequently. It’s very “miscellaneous.”
Meanwhile I’m at a loss to see where the world can go with the migrant crises plural, in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Since Italy began threatening to close its ports and impound rescue ships run by aid agencies carrying people from Libya, and Morocco to Spain has become a popular route.
Another tragedy, believed to be the worst in the Western Mediterranean this year – 49 sub-Saharan Africans attempting to reach Spain are missing after the boat they were traveling in capsized.
Their dinghy was found deflated 28 nautical miles west of the island of Alborán, midway between the Moroccan coast and Spain.
Since the first of the year some 6,464 migrants are known to have crossed the Mediterranean to Spain, while more than 500,000 migrants have passed through Italian ports since 2014, and numbers are on the rise again with more than 85,000 since the turn of the year.
So far this year, an estimated 4,690 people have died at sea in the Mediterranean region, compared with 3,771 last year.
European ministers in France, Germany and Italy are in the midst of crisis talks.