Wednesday :: Sep 1, 2004

Dog bites man - News distorts view of the world

by soccerdad

War in Context had a very good post today which drives home how the "news" media helps to distort our view of world events.

First they note that the killing of 12 Nepalese hostages in Iraq was almost completely ignored by the media. For example, web editions of The Guardian, The Telegraph, Washington Post and Le Monde had nothing at all about the incident.

Although there are 20 or so hostages being held in Iraq, this gets little attention. The most attention has gone to the 2 French journalists. Kiddnapping of Iraqis for ransom is very common but not reported here in the US or in Europe. Analysis: Iraq's forgotten hostages

The murder by terrorists in Israel of 16 people received major attention by almost all papers and networks. The previous attack was in March and 11 people were killed. But how many people know that during the same time 436 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces.

So the value of a life clearly varies by country of origin. Nepalese, Palestinians, and Iraqis are not as important as American, Israeli, or even Russian victims of terror. This bias perverts our understanding of what is going on in the world. Especially with regards to Muslims, i think at least part of the explanation is that many on the right, including religious leaders on the right, have portrayed Muslims as evil and backwards unworthy of our concern. Just look at the response to the torture scandal.

soccerdad :: 7:27 PM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!