News in Australia – Is it Really Boring?
“Have you guys also experienced that the news on Aussie TV is boring?”
I’m taken aback by the question, because quite frankly, the news have been horribly bad for the past couple of months, from my perspective.
Then I remember that those were my exact words when we immigrated to Australia eight years ago. I used to chuckle when they reported how a car rammed an ATM in a shopping centre, or when there was a road accident on a regional outback road.
Not that I did not feel sorry for those affected by the crime. It was just that what was news to them was, quite honestly, quite un-newsworthy to me.
Before you start telling me how insensitive I am, I want to remind you that I may have been quite desensitised to ‘normal’ news events, when I first arrived in Australia.
Remember that I too was used to looking over my shoulder while approaching my locked gate, that I clutched my purse with vice-like grip under my arm, and that I locked my handbag in the boot of my car whenever I travelled. I used to hold on to my little boy’s hand so tightly whenever we walked in a mall. And I had trellidoors at every door and window.
Then we arrived in Perth on 17 August, 2008.
I watched the news, and thought, “My word people! Surely what you are reporting on can not be news!” A knife attack near a bus station was headline news. Most murders actually made the news.
It dawned on me that thàt was actually the way things were supposed to be. Every crime matters. Ever car accident matters. More so, every single life that is lost as a result of a crime, matters. It is newsworthy – I just came from a place where it was an everyday occurrence.
These days, whenever I do listen to the news, I am again confronted by the senselessness of crime. I am shocked at the violence that is displayed by humans. I even want to venture as far as saying that it has gotten worse in the past 8 years.
Dear Migrant to the Great South Land,
in the beginning, you may watch the Aussie news and think that the criminals can go for some criminal lessons from the thugs in the country of your birth.
Be thankful. It means that the policing, for all its shortcomings, are working.
It also means that generally, the people of this country are law abiding peoples. They generally keep to the speed limit of 110km/h on open roads (a big challenge for the newbies that are used to 160km/h in a 120km/h zone), and they generally do the right thing, whether or not someone is watching.
Also remember, although your first thought after you hear of someone being mugged, is, “At least they did not kill you,” the incident was nevertheless extremely traumatic to the person who suffered at the hands of petty thieves, and that they still feel extremely violated. Have some empathy, they have not been in fight or flight scenarios much in their lives.
The last word of advice, enjoy watching the news without being filled with a sense of absolute horror at what people can do to others. Enjoy watching the politicians debate each other in a way that you have not seen in a long long time. And learn to relax when you approach a traffic light or your home for that matter. There is no one waiting in the bushes to jump you.
There will come a day, long after you have become used to the Aussie way, that the news will once again shock you, and you will shake your head and say, “What is happening to this world?”
Looking forward meeting you one day, even if it is only online.