About doing this news timeline...

News and the way it is presented can be a little overwhelming at times. Events happening around us seem to justify this in a way, because everything seems such a big deal and so out of control right now. The way news is presented doesn't help -- we are bombarded with stories, 24 hour news, repetitious live reports, filled with stark images but no context. It's no wonder we find it hard to really listen to it all. Then at the other end stories can mysteriously disappear, bumped to the bottom when the next big thing comes in, never to be seen again -- heavy news days are politician's favorites for releasing dodgy statistics!

Initially as the news started to build up day by day it made very queasy reading, there wasn't much to smile about, I finally started to see the sense in the so called 'human interest stories' at the end of local news. Standing back looking at whole sections of days I started to see themes interconnecting, or sometimes a story would stand out to me, I would put it in -- like Bush's use of his veto against government funded stem cell research and what do you know -- European ministers agree to more development of stem cell research a few days later in direct opposition to Bush's conservative mindset. Stories around the themes of travel related disasters, natural disasters and war crimes kept flaring up all with the backdrop of building conflict between Israel and it's neighbors.

I'm surprised that I didn't get more upset; it's possible I got desensitized. Actually I felt very sobered by the experience, sad at this huge loss of life and suffering that I was witnessing but still marveling at the patterns and cycles I could finally see in events. When you watch news this closely you can almost feel things building and changing, different small situations coalescing into larger issues, the tensions in the Middle East when you look over a whole month showing this perfectly. I think the important thing for me is that I stopped feeling overwhelmed or disconnected from what was happening out there, and instead felt connected and aware.

Not everything is that happened is included in this listing, there's a lot of news happening out there! What we were trying to do was find and follow the big events, zeitgeist moments and through putting them together in a (hopefully) meaningful way, truly show how they unfold, the bigger picture 'I need to understand, in broad strokes, what is going on' as Lise another collaborator, said. Who knows, maybe you would not have picked out some of the points I did, or see some of the same patterns I did. I've been living and breathing news for a few days now, and have my natal Mercury-Uranus contact to thank for my eras pricking at science/technological/environmental issues. I think in the strain of just absorbing the obvious 'big stuff' other turning points can be missed, so I've included smaller stories as well as the bigger ones.

-- Melanie Andrews


Additional Links and Sources

The Gaurdian's timeline look at Israeli-Arab violence in Lebanon and Gaza in the last month.

BBC International and local news.

Alternative news feed.

Mideast fighting chronology.

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