A top story on the news page of NPR is about the travails of migrant workers from Central and South America trying to reach the US. The reporter does surprisingly little analysis for an NPR article. Am I out of place asking the question, “Is this news”? I mean the travails, not the murders. What exactly happened here? Who was involved? This is NPR taking a side on this issue. They are calling the travails of the mentioned migrants news. I’d agree that these are unacceptable conditions. Who doesn’t? The harsh conditions aren’t really news, from the standpoint that the migrants are breaking Mexican law as well as intending to break US law. This is kind of what you would expect on the black market. This is why we are lucky when we can enjoy a tranquil society of sorts.
Let’s look at the intent issue for a second with the view of what is news. Intent is something we usually get a pass for here in the states. It doesn’t mean it is completely overlooked, however. We still are wary of people we know intend to break laws. We even have laws on the books here in the US that rule on intent. The one that comes to mind is drunk driving law. You can be arrested for the “intent to drive” if you are behind the wheel, your blood alcohol level is above the legal limit and your keys are in the ignition. I’m not saying all laws should be like this, just that intent is something. Is it news that people who are breaking and intending to break laws have their standard of living drop to horrifying conditions? It is strange to me reading about people breaking Mexican law and who intend to break our laws. Perhaps this is news. It just seems strange as a top story.