TED Conversations

Bruno Giussani

European Director, TED


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Which relevant/important events currently unfolding around the world are being ignored by the media? Why are they relevant?

Open a newspaper or watch a newscast, and along with a couple of important news (say, Egypt and Tunisia) and a couple of surprising and insightful stories, you will read or hear a lot of irrelevant stuff. Yet world-changing and life-altering events are happening all the time around the world - just not where the media are focusing their lenses (I'm not suggesting active censorship here - just a structural problem in the way "news" is identified, selected and distributed). What are the events currently unfolding, anywhere in the world, of any kind, that are 1) underreported 2) regionally or globally truly relevant 3) may have a broad impact and 4) people should know about?


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  • Mar 10 2011: Bruno this is an issue I wrestled with a lot as a foreign policy editor, where each day I looked across the world at what was happening and tried to assign weight to developments. The media business is competitive and therefore thrives on this-just-in and on stories with lots of tension. It doesn't do slow-motion stories well. Not enough tension, not enough daily movement. This is a structural problem, yet but it's also a distribution problem. It's not sufficient to decree from on high that, hey world, you better start paying attention to this issue that's really vital. What needs to happen is to find those in the world who are passionate about that issue and then use them to make the rest of us care. The current media model isn't built for that kind of dynamic interplay. It's a one-to-many model for the most part, with very limited feedback. I believe that social games are an emerging media construct that can help with this problem of the underreported stories. Games? What is DeMarco talking about? Games are about play, interaction and what-ifs. The 21st century media audience will not only expect to be engaged directly in a story, it will demand to be engaged. It's about community. That audience will itself bring these lesser known stories to light, with the context that makes a wider audience care. I invite you to check out a game I'm developing with veteran games builders called GiG (short for Global Innovation Game) on Facebook. It's still embryonic, and we're still working out the tricky business of building what amounts to an idea market in the frame of game play. But it's a start. We're putting a lot of content into the game around environmental issues because this is a classic slow-motion story of major importance but often difficult to tell in its many parts. And the environment is a cross-border issue, and increasingly we're dealing with an internationally aware (young) audience eager to adopt solutions from around the world. So, see the game and GiG It!

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