Too often too many journalists end up taking the easy way out by focusing on what is in front of them for their stories. Publishers and editors repeat the mantra of "Local. Local. Local" over and over again.
And reporters go out and do local stories with no thought about how national and international events may have impacted or impact those local events.
Take a look at the screen capture on the right from the CNN political web site.
Immigration, Iran, Iraq and Free Trade are the international issues they are covering for the candidates.
And yet, where are the stories about these issues?
And are these the sum total of the international issues the next president will have to face? Are these the only international issues that affect the American people?
Before we can get more and better coverage of how the rest of the world affects us -- other than cheap Wal-Mart goods, Japanese cars, and terrorism -- we have to have journalists who understand there is a connection between Main Street and the rest of the world.
That is why my required reading includes "The World is Flat" bu Tom Friedman and why I am having my students interview foreign correspondents.
Most of my students already know there is more to the world than the limited view presented by most of the main stream media. I am hoping to give them more ammunition to take on the rest of the ostriches in our profession.
There is no reason we, as journalism instructors, cannot stretch our students' minds and views so they do not fall into the trap of Local, Local, Local and little or no sense of how the local and the international are linked.