mass news services are either cunning or just clumsy – either way they cause huge damage in their primitivism.
all my life i listen to news services use absolutely wrong terminology when referring to groups of people.
their either intentional or accidental generalizations in journalism are causing extreme damage and delay to global human development.
it all comes from simple choice of words.
example 1: germans lost the second world war.
germans did not loose the second world war. nazi germany lost it. jews who were killed in concentration camps were also germans. half of one nation usually lives in one country and other half or at least additional substantial percentage lives all over the world. germans are people who have german passport or declare themselves as germans. so officialy nazi germany and german nazi’s lost the second world war, not the germans.
example 2: serbian leader slobodan milosevic.
during the 1990s wars in balkans maybe half the world world population of serbs lived in serbia. certain part (no one really knows how big) of that population supported the totalitarian regime of slobodan milosevic. there were some 7 million serbs living in serbia, another 5-6 million serbs living outside serbia. it is not correct to say that slobodan milosevic is a serbian leader. he was the president of socialist republic of yugoslavia for a while which had majority of serbs as citizens. however it is very confusing to involve all serbs living all over the world, and all serbs who were against this regime, within one general term serbs.
adding an adjective like nazi germany or ultranationalist serbs or whatever is less general would be so much more correct and would educate people more.
the same problems occur with arabs and jews, or any one word simplifications.
still in 2010 media refers to war criminals from 1990s wars as serbian leaders while they really did not lead serbs but certain part of serbs, very small part, which were quite extreme.
why did not the rest of serbs do something about it. well they did, but it took few years – milosevic was deported and regime was overthrown through a lot of struggle and political fighting. it was just not as fast and dramatic as media would like it (it was actually a slow legal democratic process compared to street fights media would love to show). also 10 years of economic sanctions and 3 months of 24h bombing did not help the resistance (sanctions usually only help dictators keep power longer as it is proven case after case).
sort of same stuff as in germany during world war two. carpet bombing in general only helped raise moral and support for the nazis.
if you are a journalist, please fight for less generalization by adding an adjective here and there.
it is one way to make the world a better place.
words are important.