I appreciate Eamonn Fingleton’s post in James Fallow’s blog on the quality of most newspaper’s coverage of East Asia:
Our English-speaking media, with few exceptions, have never taken more than a superficial interest in East Asia — or any other part of Asia for that matter. Yes, I know that there is plenty of coverage of the region in “serious” newspapers. But few correspondents stay long in the region and those who do often end up becoming mouthpieces of the local establishment. As East Asia is hardly a free-speech zone (pace all talk during the Cold War of how certain nations in the region had embraced Western values), much press coverage is propaganda in disguise. This is difficult to illustrate in a few words but anyone who studies — really studies — the long term record can identify major problems with the way the press approaches the region.
I really wish he suggested alternative news sources to follow, however. And I hope his answer isn’t just to read his book.