Gwen Ifill: Media ‘Lost Sight of the Bigger Picture’ During Mandela Coverage


By Merrill Knox Comment

gwen ifillPBS News anchor Gwen Ifill says the media “lost sight of the bigger picture” while covering the death of Nelson Mandela. In a PBS blog post, she writes the focus was on non-stories, including the fake interpreter tasked with translating the service into sign language:

There is no question it was an insult to the world’s deaf and an international security threat to have a man on stage whose defense for not knowing sign language was that he could be violently schizophrenic. But did that deserve more attention on a day when thousands gathered in Pretoria — in long lines that reminded me of the first free South African elections — to pay final tribute to Mandela?

I never cease to marvel how efficiently we can minimize real news – whether it be rare proof that Washington has a little bipartisanship left, or history unfolding on another continent.

I’d feel a little better if we could at least try to remember the big picture.

[h/t Huffington Post]