The Hexacoto

Listening to the sound of one hand clapping

Tag: Asia

Always returning home to Asia

By the way, I have started on my job as an editorial fellow at Jing Daily, a publication about China’s luxury business. While not exactly at the top of the list of things I dreamed I’d be writing about, it is a start for my journalism career, I suppose.

There, I write things like:

Sotheby’s World-Record Jadeite Necklace Primed For Top Chinese Bidders

and

Luxury Pushes Hong Kong’s Sky-High Retail Rent To Top Global Spot

It seems that I often write about very Asian-related thing; on this blog a lot about Japan, and now at work, exclusively about China. At one of my previous internships, it was also at Asia Society, which I enjoyed enough, writing about Asian current affairs to an American public.

For a person that took such pains to leave Asia, it seems it has come full circle to bite me in the back by having me write so much about Asian issues. As much as I don’t wish to sell myself as the “That Asian guy writing about Asian news,” that’s what I seem to have been doing lately.

Is that necessarily a bad thing? I’m not sure. I mean, is it a bad thing that I have access to Asian news and understanding, having actually hailed from thence? Maybe one day I’ll get to graduate from writing about Asian news.

The forgotten news

Today, we have two headlines from Asia:

North Korean Defectors Tell U.N. Panel of Prison Camp Abuses

Tank Has Leaked Tons of Contaminated Water at Japan Nuclear Site

When was the last time the news talked about either North Korea or of the Fukushima nuclear plants? After the buzz over Kim Jong Un succession and vague threats made died down, after the outcries at the displacement of citizens and the following nuclear contamination have but settled, what now? No one pays attention to these countries any more, because these stories are not shared around on the internet as much as they were when the events freshly happened.

That is the way the news work, I suppose. It is as much the news creating what the readers want to read as it is the news telling readers what to read.

It makes one wonder what is the point of being up-to-date with global news unless one was directly affected by it, or has vested in it. What is the point of me being aware that the Fukushima debacle isn’t yet resolved, and that Kim Jong Un, while no longer relevant to the current interest of the American public, represents a continuation of a long history of human rights abuses?

Other than the self-satisfaction of knowing that I know what’s happening around the world, what’s the value of that knowledge? Conversation fodder? Surely the news must be worth more than that.

I think being involved in world news is part of what being a global citizen is about — that we’re connected, and that as humans we care for each other, no matter how remote.