Reporting Conflicts and Cosmopolitanism
Chapter 6. A World of Difference
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A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE
Atlas Shrugged, which opened Chapter 3, was the product of the upheavals of the early 20th century. The stories explored in this book are the product of newsrooms located on different pages of the atlas, and upheavals of the early 21st century. They emanate from a communicative space that straddles the boundary between conflict and cosmopolitanism and speak of a different place as well as a different time.
Two decades before Rand’s novel was published, the English playwright and social commenter J.B. Priestley made a documentary entitled We Live in Two Worlds. In writing of cosmopolitanism and the media, Tomlinson found himself revisiting the film and thinking about the contrast between ‘the old world order of international divisions and political hostilities’ and ‘what Priestley regarded as an emerging world of internationalism and cosmopolitan progress’ (Tomlinson 2011: 349–50). In Tomlinson’s reading, ‘the film constructs the positive idea of internationalism via a contrast with the “negative other”—the “narrow national world of angry borders”’ (Tomlinson 2011: 351). A decade-and-a-half into the new millennium, it is clear that Priestley’s emerging world has not replaced the old order, and that we continue to live in two worlds, both the real world in which desperate migrants drown when trying to reach the shores of Europe in overcrowded boats and the Swedish navy ← 109 | 110 → hunts Russian submarines on the Stockholm waterfront, and the imaginative worlds constituted by media reports of...
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