More stories you may have missed in 2007

It always makes me depressed to think about how little attention the vast majority of Americans pay to the rest of the world. Passport readers are, of course, an exception. But I’m reminded of how isolationist the general American public can be whenever I stumble across stories like this, Time magazine’s Top 10 Underreported Stories ...

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It always makes me depressed to think about how little attention the vast majority of Americans pay to the rest of the world. Passport readers are, of course, an exception. But I'm reminded of how isolationist the general American public can be whenever I stumble across stories like this, Time magazine's Top 10 Underreported Stories of the year. Of the 10 stories on the list, seven of them have to do with international developments (OK, this item is arguably a domestic story, but I'm including it in my tally because it's about nukes). And of those seven stories, only one of them was a surprise to me: Brazil's announcement that it had made the largest oil discovery since 2000. (I'm chalking up missing this story to the fact that it happened around Thanksgiving time, when I wasn't paying attention to the news as I should.)

It always makes me depressed to think about how little attention the vast majority of Americans pay to the rest of the world. Passport readers are, of course, an exception. But I’m reminded of how isolationist the general American public can be whenever I stumble across stories like this, Time magazine’s Top 10 Underreported Stories of the year. Of the 10 stories on the list, seven of them have to do with international developments (OK, this item is arguably a domestic story, but I’m including it in my tally because it’s about nukes). And of those seven stories, only one of them was a surprise to me: Brazil’s announcement that it had made the largest oil discovery since 2000. (I’m chalking up missing this story to the fact that it happened around Thanksgiving time, when I wasn’t paying attention to the news as I should.)

Granted, it’s my job to pay attention to what’s going on in the world. But honestly, should it really be new news to people that the U.N. reduced its estimates of those afflicted with AIDS, or that tensions are getting worse between Ethiopia and Eritrea?

At any rate, I suppose I should be grateful that Time is bringing its readers’ attention back to these important topics. But for stories that really went underreported, check out FP‘s The Top Ten Stories You Missed in 2007. And make your family and friends add “pay more attention to international news” to their list of New Year’s resolutions.

Christine Y. Chen is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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