On the night of November 13th, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred in Paris killing and injuring citizens in cafes, restaurants, and music venues but this isn’t new information. On the other hand, multiple suicide bombings in Beirut Lebanon and in Baghdad Iraq had occurred just hours before the attacks in Paris. But there are very few people who are familiar with these attacks. In Beirut and Baghdad, there were 255 serious injuries and 60 deaths but how many of us knew that.
On the morning of November 14th, I woke up and expected to see the news something like “Mass killings in France and Middle East hundreds of people injured and dead.” But when I turned on the TV to see updates about these terrorist attacks in France and the middle east, the only news I found was “Terrorist attack kills over a hundred people in Paris. France declares a state of emergency for 4 weeks.” I felt a deep sense of shock that how American media ignore the killing of people in the middle east. Similarly in America when the mass killing event was done by a Muslim suspect, American media consider it as a terrorist attack from some well known Islamic organization, but when the same thing a white or Christian person does they consider it as mentally ill or crazy person attacked.
I soon realized that this is not unusual phenomena of attacks in Africa, the Middle East, and other developing nations are swept under the rug to make way for wider and more newsworthy events on Western countries and making Islam the reason of all terrorist activities. Even though after doing so much of research I couldn’t find a relevant reason for this bias situation. After reading Alain de Botton’s article “Tragedy” I found out how new effect us nowadays and most of us focus on news related to tragedies. Today, almost all of us owns a smartphone and with the help of these phones we always stay connected with all kind of news doesn’t matter if it is fake, real, or bias and showing us only one side of the story. Most of the time almost 90% of us don’t even try to verify the credibility of these stories before believing them. For some reason, Alain de Botton’s argument led me to Christopher Beam’s article “Blood Loss” which connects the early 19th-century serial killing with today’s terrorist activities.
So I finally decided to restart my search and now with a focus on social, racial and equality within the media institution. During my search, I found out that today 90% of American Media is controlled by 6 companies these companies are Comcast, Fox, The Walt Disney Company, Viacom, AT&T, and CBS. All the CEOs of these companies have one glaring similarity, their race. These six white men have a major hand on what news is seen by the American public. So it’s not surprising that most of them got most of the media that we are exposed to, is white-dominated and glasses over minority related events and blames all the negativity on Islam and Muslims
This isn’t just a problem in media ownership, in 2014 the Atlantic magazine found that minorities are drastically underrepresented in the journalism industry as well on average whites make up around 82% of Journalism all non-white combine to form only 18% for an industry that claims to serve diverse news to an increasingly diverse public. It ’s extremely problematic that most major newsrooms are dominated by one race the white race, even worse the few channels that do offer more diverse news are attacked and oppressed by the American Media, for example, Al Jazeera America was a Qatar funded channel that share Arabic news and current affairs with the American people. The channel came to the attention of Western countries during September 2001 airing videos and showing articles about the Taliban and other radical groups to inform and educate the American public on events going on in the Middle East but because Al Jazeera was exclusively focused on Arab related news American Media executive demonize the network. Leaders like Hillary Clinton entered the argument by saying that Al Jazeera was real news and not supportive of terrorism cable news executive shared personal concerns over the channel being broadcasted such as a fear that their viewers would see violence. In the end, the channel was disappeared from the American Media at the behest of a white executive who was afraid that the network was too much Arab based.
The irony is a parent although American Media is almost solely constructed of whites American Executive criticize and exclude non-white media for the sole purpose of being too focused on One race this Injustice which leads to the Erasure of minority news from mainstream media lays the groundwork for inherent racism.
The television networks do whatever they can to promote awareness to promote awareness and spread coverage about these attacks taking every possible measure that they can to show sympathy and sensitivity to the victims in contrast other terrorist attacks are met with far less and even non-existent coverage at least 72 were killed and 342 seriously injured in Pakistan because of a suicide bombing at a children’s playground on Easter although this attack happen to full five days after the attack in France holes and it was far more severe in terms of injuries and death the receipt if we received relatively no coverage American television networks continue to cover the events going on in Brussels will be events and Pakistan were not even mentioned.
In addition, the rhetoric of newspaper articles can often affect how a reader digest this information. Articles about Western events uses emotional phrases and care are put into describing the events in great detail. On the other hand articles about events outside of the West, uses a cold and detached tone throughout the article, nearly listing bear facts and statistics about what happened. This difference in the way that the articles are presented leads people to unconsciously become more supportive and sympathetic toward events in the West.
So now, what effect of this bias have on us, the lack of coverage not only does a disservice to the victims in these countries but it also fosters an uninformed American public. When we miss out on key events outside the west that shape foreign policy and the prosperity of countries we are rather truly incapacitated. Furthermore, it creates a complete sense of apathy in our public concerning the victims in these countries. Unintentional or intentional, the media bias has the same effect. Because of it, we are a group of people who cannot even hold a conversation about a terrorist attack that occurred in a country outside of the West. It takes a great movement of people to spread awareness and to show the plight of these people who are forgotten and ignored by our media as citizens of the world we need to stand up and we need to show media networks that we care about these countries and we want them to report them to us and we want them to share what happened in them.
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