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greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement

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what makes a story go national, or international?

Certain incidents and events become known across a nation where many or most people are aware of them, thinking, talking and feeling about them. Here in the U.S. I can think recently of the trial of George Zimmerman who killed Trayvon Martin as one such story, and Miley Cyrus's appearance at the VMA awards where she "twerked" vigorously as another. One international story is the problems of Greece, and I imagine Barack Obama's election made some waves in other countries (did it?) What is it that makes certain stories get many people's attention and awareness? Is it that there's a lot of emotion in the events involved? Is it that something in the story impinges on many other people's lives, and how does that work? Perhaps there are different factors for why different stories become prominent?

For those in other than the U.S., what stories have gone national in your country?

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    Dec 23 2013: If I have to try summing up in key words of the patterns of news on the media here.It would be like this:
    International
    -tensions,conflicts and war
    -disasters or catastrophes
    -economic crisis,corruptions
    -foreign policies.etc.
    National
    -social issues like food safety ,real estate issue,corruptions
    -national or local polices
    -anecdote,etc.

    Today one of the headline is that the Gv finalises a proposal to abolish the re-education thru forced labor system. And recently, there's a big discussion among the cyber community on a moral dilemma that people face -when an elderly people unexpectedly fall in the street while walking,what do you do?

    I think whether it goes national or international depends on the influence of the news,including the influence what the media incorporated into the news delivery according to their agenda. And it does affect your views on some aspects of things if you are not aware of it.
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      Dec 23 2013: Amily, your name doesn't sound Chinese, but you live in China? Can you tell me some of your story, I'm trying to understand what influences your particular perspective on media.

      I wonder how there can be so much discussion of the question what to do if an elderly person falls, that doesn't seem like it would be so complicated?
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        Dec 23 2013: Yep,I live in China and am a Chinese.Shaw sounds the closest to my hard-to-read family name so I chose it for convenience. What influences your particular perspective on media?I grow up reading newspaper and what i learn is that what's on the news is not always "the whole picture"or it's just some parts of the story,being aware other source of information.So I started to question who decides what is to be packed into the screen delivery.

        The background of that discussion is several reports on cases where some elderly people were sent to hospital by strangers and then said it's the strangers who pushed them down afterwards.There has been follow up reports on it about social insurance,doubts about modern man's conscience or trust issue within a society.
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          Dec 23 2013: Amily, I have some questions for you about how important the individual is versus the group in China, but I am not sure how to put them, so I'll have to wait.

          In the meantime, are you saying the elderly people fell in the street and then a stranger called for someone to come help the person? But why would people think the stranger who called for help pushed down the elderly person?
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        Dec 23 2013: Usually I think natives might not be the best person to tell their culture because they get so used to and close to it that they can hardly see a difference without reference to another culture.But no pro.I'll be happy to share when you form a question.

        What the news reported is that the helpee (the elderly person) accused of the helper(stranger) of pushing her down so that she asked the stranger to pay for all her fees in hospital but actually she fell down herself .Not sure why people spend much time in this.
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      Dec 24 2013: Well, Amily, here in the U.S. our newspapers also cover major policies and political events. But we also see a lot of coverage of events that only involve a few people, many times it would be a crime that one person committed against another person, or it might be something controversial that one person did, for example, did you hear about Miley Cyrus, she is a well-known young entertainer who went on a TV program and danced in a way that some think is sexually suggestive by bending over and rolling her buttocks. Now do you see a lot of stories like this in China that just focus on one person or a few people and something they did? Would you tell me some of the stories that became national?
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        Dec 26 2013: Yes.We have news on crimes and celerities here as well,which usually cover spaces on national or local news,but rarely make it to international.I don't read news now but scan it sometimes unless there's a need for in-depth reading.(how many worth reading though?)The recent one that Im aware of from the large coverage is a divorce case of a very successful musician Faye Wang and her husband.Nothing unusual about the divorce itself but people talk about it because of her popularity.



        I remeber seeing the Miley Cyrus news somewhere. Isn't being controversy a trick some people play?Being not totally" wrong" and not too plain so that you have different "groups" to interact with each other .Thus, noises made and people hear them.No news means bad news.

        Happy holidays to you Greg and everyone;D
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          Dec 26 2013: Thanks, Amily. Well, I personally would think that people's first thought in doing something is not to create a "trick" controversy, it's to do what they want to do, what they enjoy doing or think is right, but then secondarily what they do is ambiguous so creates controversy. But you don't agree, you think people deliberately do things to create controversy, even when it's things they don't really want to do, or don't really care about?

          How much did Chinese people follow the doings of the performer Michael Jackson, do you think he reached the level of international news, and why is that?

          Now we just celebrated Christmas here in America. But you don't observe Christmas in China I don't think?
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        Dec 27 2013: Hi Greg.What you said is possible too.

        Some people follow that.The reasons I can think of are his reputation and influence and the media coverage.

        Here we have Christmas too but not a national holiday.
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          Dec 27 2013: Thanks, Amily, you sure seem smart, what is your story, are you working or going to school, what sort of work do you do?

          One thing about you, you seem very low-key. Are you often, or ever, excited in your life? Is there anyone you would be excited to meet, can you tell me who?

          You said you only occasionally read the news in depth. What stories attract you enough to read in depth, and why?

          I wonder if you are correct that Faye Wong's divorce is just an ordinary divorce? Maybe it is ordinary in the bare facts, but maybe it is unusual because presumably a famous person has more intense feelings and emotions than an ordinary person?

          Do you mind if I ask you about another matter? I happen to love to drink milk, that is, milk that comes from a cow, and here in the U.S. we drink a fair amount of it. But in Asia they don't drink so much, correct? Do you have any idea why that is, we can say that it is tradition but then why did the tradition start? Here is a list from Wikipedia that shows countries in order, starting with the highest, in how much milk they drink per capita, per capita means per person. You can see no Asian country shows up until number 75: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_milk_consumption_per_capita
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        Jan 2 2014: Hi Greg. Sorry for the late reply for I have been away for several days.

        Ha Ha. I do get excited in life!! But I can easily get bored and when you think about something you don't often sound excited, do you?

        What stories attracts ?It really depends on personal preference. I actually followed up that re-education thru forced labor system news as it develops.It starts from the cyber community where this young GV staff wrote something critical against GV with the intention that the GV might improve it's governance and then he was "invited to have tea"(a phrase that means going thru investigation) and dramaticly he was arrested and sent to the forced labor system,accused of spreading inproporiately agitating information and the evidence are articles on his web pages and a T-shirt with "Give me liberty or give me death"printing.(Crazy,I know) And a lawyer later helped him with this case and the final results is that the whole forced labor system is proposed to be abolished.(There are several similar cases) I'm concerned cuz I think this has to do with ourselves. If nobody stands up for anything(very risky tho) then nothing will change.And it's good to see the GV is willing to admit mistakes too.

        Then,it's my turn ;DDDDD
        What makes you want to know why Asian don't drink milk?
        How does that relate to what we are talking about?
        What's the benefits of drinking it do you think?
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          Jan 3 2014: Thanks, Amily. Did you go anywhere interesting?

          Well, there is something rather edited or stripped down when you post your thoughts, I'm not criticizing you, it's just a little different for me from most people as most wander around a bit more. What does excite you in life? Is there anyone you would be excited to meet, famous or obscure? Maybe getting excited isn't all that great, it can be sort of tiring to get excited?

          Sounds like you're into the more serious stories. That's one thing I learned from this conversation, almost everyone who has answered has been pretty serious in the news they consume. I wonder if they're being honest with me, or perhaps they just want to look like they are deep thinkers? For me I usually go to stories that are a little lighter. Today the only news I read was about the Rose Bowl, it was a college football game that was played yesterday very close to where I live. It was extra interesting to me because one of the teams was Stanford, where I got my degree.

          So you really don't consume any light news? What do you do when you need experiences in life that are more light, not so serious?

          Oh, I'm very interested in milk, Amily. I got interested by reading about the Masai tribe in Kenya. They are known for only living on food from their cows, milk and beef. About five years ago I was having some health problems, and the way I fixed them I began to live entirely on milk, what we call skim milk which is milk with most of the cream taken away. Every day I drink about two gallons, or nine liters, of skim milk, and hardly eat or drink anything else. It's very great for weight loss and weight management, and it's also easy on the body to digest and use, I think because it's fluid. It has been so great for me that I wonder why Asians don't drink much, it's surprising to me. Not really related to this conversation, since you're in China I thought you might know.
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        Jan 6 2014: Hi Greg. You seem to have tons of curiosities!:-)
        Yes.Some family time in another place.
        I sometimes modify words as I type as to convey more accurate ideas due to the reason that English is not my first language or sometimes I brainstorm a better idea.People I'm excited to meet would be my close friends in other places or authors Iike Long yingtai or any interesting people.
        " I wonder if they're being honest with me, or perhaps they just want to look like they are deep thinkers?"

        I believe people just present what they think about this issue and take your question seriously and share contemplated understanding to contribute to this thread. Not necessarily how they want others to think about them.

        I don't consume light news but I do watch videos, cartoons or listen to music and chat for entertainment and sometimes Karaok or live music.

        Good that you benefited from the milk .Greg. We have more assembled- lined milk-related drinks than the actual milk.But I don't think that's as good as milk.I don't find many cow farms around.I guess if you want to drink fresh milk you need to be reasonably close to the farm since it preserve just for a short time?
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          Jan 6 2014: can you tell me what Long yingtai writes about that interests you? I see on Wikipedia that she has a newspaper column that appears in mainland China?

          You might be right, it's hard to know whether people are being honest. It might be a question of emphasis, that in life people read both serious news and light news, but when someone asks them what they read, it is the serious news that comes into their minds the most.

          Can I ask what you mean by "videos," do you mean music videos, or.....?

          Would you like to be a newspaper reporter, or columnist, why or why not?

          Well, I'm not sure, Amily, I believe you don't have to be so close because the milk can be transported in trucks. One person told me that the Asian rejection of milk might be because of Buddhism? I don't know, are Buddhists vegetarians? But actually, if Buddhists are not drinking milk, I suppose really they are vegans, correct? Is Buddhism still important in China, is Buddhism considered a religion, and hasn't China outlawed religion?
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        Jan 8 2014: Hi Greg.I know her as being an author instead of a columnist.What interests me? She has this youthfulness energy instilled in her writing,questioning the indifference of people to what's not "right" with the culture,politics ,eventually affecting the well being of themselves and she encourages people to think and talk and make a change with a public spirit and social consciences .And in that way I like her being authentic ,not speaking out for something what people want to hear but what matters.

        Yes.Music concert,comedy,cartoons...many sorts.
        Would you like to be a newspaper reporter, or columnist, why or why not?
        Yes and no.Yes because you are in constant flow of changes in journalism ,new things just keep emerging.No because there's this censorship issue here and I have other priorities.
        As far as I know, Buddhists are generally known as being vegetarians for they believe butchery is inhumane.Some think it's okay to drink milk and some don't.
        Is Buddhism still important in China?
        I think it's still relevant when you think about it's influence in languages,food and art.We have many vocab deriving from Buddhism,e.g. "Yuan "don't know how to explain precisely but destiny or fate would be close and you have "Bao ying" Chinese for Karma.You can buy in supermarkets some Toufu-like food made from certain temples.And it finds it's expression in literature,sculpture,architechture...ect. That's from the past when it flourished here.But today I think it's like any other religions that people convert to various level.
        hasn't China outlawed religion?
        No.Actually they are law-ed.In law,it writes people are free to convert to religion but not to interfere with the social orders.We have legal three-selfs churches(self- supporting,self-governing,self-propagating)but I think it has been" censored".
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          Jan 10 2014: well, Amily, if there is a censorship issue, how is Long yingtai able to get published? Because her writing could shake things up and encourage rebellion?

          Do people in China eat much meat, here in America we have lots of "Chinese food" restaurants, and they serve huge amounts of meat, the menu is meat, vegetables, and rice everywhere you go in Chinese restaurants.
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        Jan 16 2014: Hi Greg.I guess it depends on what get censored and what dose not and that standard changes.And she is with good intention and her works mainly focus on the culture and i don't think her writing could actually shake things up.

        Yes.Dishes with meat, vegetables and rice are quite common.In the north of China people mainly eat noodles, buns or dumplings that are made of flour while in the south rice is preferred.
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          Jan 19 2014: so can you remember any specific subject she took up, what she said about it, and why it interested you?

          Well, if Chinese people are eating meat, then I don't think Buddhism is the explanation for why they are not drinking cow's milk, since Buddhism generally discourages meat-eating? Well, it's surprising, Amily, if you come to market here you will see dozens of gallons of milk for sale in a supermarket. But maybe our broader range of food available makes us struggle more with obesity, by cutting out milk the Chinese might have reduced obesity? But I wonder why they chose to cut out milk, they could instead have cut out meat? If you like to do me a favor, ask your family and friends why they think chinese don't drink much cow milk and if you get an answer let me know.

          Maybe chinese cut out milk because it is product of woman, or female animal? Aren't women somewhat suppressed in asian society? Why is that, do you know?

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