I’ve been thinking a lot not just about how people get their news, but how they understand the news and what happens after that. Too often in complex stories about climate change, or even the Affordable Care Act, those seemingly “dumb” questions are glossed over and acts as a barrier to entry to those concepts. Those dumb questions help to create fluency around issues.
The foreign gaze makes Al Jazeera America treat nothing as obvious. When done well, this is in the finest tradition of foreign correspondence: a genre that soars when offering sharp, deeply reported answers to seemingly dumb questions — dumb because they are so basic and self-evident that the smugly well settled never think to ask them, any more than fish inquire about the water.