Not many people realize that more than half of the world's population is undernourished or malnourished and one in every three of them lives in an abject poverty. These facts are the ones that fund-raising agencies or news media often glorify for obvious reasons. Compassion, feeling of guilt makes people donate money thus allowing organizations like Action Aid to operate. With the news about mass education, reduction in population and fund-raising organizations, it seems the situation in the Third World countries improves, however, there are claims these facts are biased and serve to manipulate perceptions of the public.
"The cumulative effect of the way in which the developing world
is portrayed by charitable organizations and the media is grossly
misleading. And it results in deeply held public misconceptions
that are ultimately damaging to the understanding they seek
to promote." ('The Independent' 16 May 1993)
It is true that most people learn about the Third World from news programs.
As it is known, television has never presented the norms of our societies. Its 'news' are always exceptional facts that happened somewhere in the world and are merely 'blown out of proportions'. The same problem is with fund-raising agencies, which stress the plight, the misery, the need of the developing world. Of course, it raises money but at the same time distorts people's perceptions. Numerous reports of tragedies and appeals for donations leave the impression that the poor world is just a parched land with starving to death children. Another fact that is mostly exaggerated is the role of aid in poor worlds. People are 'fed' the numbers representing impossible amounts of money donated to poor countries. There are charity concerts, fund-raising on a global scale and many people of show business who are involved in these actions. Nonetheless, there is no...