I thought it was interesting to see how the media coverage from these two events differ. For those of you that don’t know last April terrorist attacked Garissa University in Kenya that left 147 dead. Did i know about this when it happened? No, but I immediately knew what happened in Paris even when the attacks were still happening. Searching #ParisAttacks on google will give you 2.2 million results while #KenyaAttacks will only give you a mere 300 results. It’s interesting to see the amount of media produced in a few days for paris compared to the dismal amount of media produced for the Kenya attacks.

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7 responses »

  1. doriebailey says:

    The irony of this is that, after the Paris attacks happened, I saw so so SO many people on my Facebook feed sharing that story from Kenya, posting things like “This is so sad, so much tragedy this week” or “And now Kenya too?” as if the Kenya attack happened this week as well. I was shocked by how many people clearly shared the articles without reading them, or at least noticing that they were all dated back in April. It just goes to show that “Facebook activism” isn’t as effective as it looks; and that anyone can share a story, but how effective is it if the story isn’t even read or understood properly?

  2. katyschaefe says:

    So true, there has been a very real difference in coverage between these two events. Interestingly, in response to the lack of reporting done on the tragedy in Kenya and Nigeria, people started the tag #prayfortheworld. It was supposed to run in comparison to #pray for paris, but still, while paris has there own tag, the rest of the world is required to share, no individual markers are necessary as they can all be lumped into one other category of lost causes that aren’t worth the same amount of thought or worry.

  3. sonyajendoubi says:

    People have been criticizing Facebook for giving users the chance to add a French flag filter to your profile picture and the ability to show you were “safe” in France. Many felt like Facebook was giving preferential treatment to this incident over others, including the tragedies in Kenya and Nigeria. Here’s an article discussing the need for the “safety check” feature in other countries.
    http://money.cnn.com/2015/11/20/technology/facebook-mali-safety-check/

  4. chloekissane says:

    I completely agree. It is scary to see how the news is so biased in so many ways. I immediately found out about the Paris attacks when they occurred and did not find out about Kenya until much later. My Facebook home page was blowing up with Paris articles and the blue, white, and red profile pictures. As this article perfectly puts it, “Many of those who made the switch had no particular connection to Paris. For most, it was a simple, one-click sign of solidarity.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/11/18/the-problem-with-putting-a-french-flag-up-on-your-facebook/

  5. zainjazara says:

    Thank you for using the search result number comparison. It drives the point home with a bang. Here is an excellent article written by a Pitzer alumnus which discusses the discrepancy in media reporting, but more importantly, the phony, crumbling logic of the All Lives Matter movement in incidents like these and the recent refugee crisis: https://medium.com/@azmito/to-state-alllivesmatter-is-to-stand-on-the-wrong-side-of-history-a-day-of-terror-for-some-a-life-d72fa76b319e#.k7yr29syu

  6. jivikar says:

    I agree that there has been some serious disproportionate reporting on recent tragedies, and while I can offer no excuse for those who share articles without reading what they are sharing, I did come across an interesting justification for the high interest in the Paris attacks over other events. I am talking about a Facebook post by the wife of the Singaporean prime minister in which she says that because many more people have visited Paris (it is the top tourist destination in the world with over 85 million yearly tourist arrivals), “we” as a collective have more personal memories connected to France and so are more likely to be affected by events there as opposed to events in Turkey or Beirut where far fewer people have been. Although this is not by any means a justification for the selective reporting of the media, I do think it is true that the media tries hard to give us what they think we want to see/hear. And judging from the general social media response, they have gotten pretty good at judging this too.

  7. meganf says:

    I was really alarmed by this as well. I remember one of my friends who has a big following on instagram posted a screenshot of a news article about the attack in kenya a day or two after the paris attacks. She didn’t post the date of the article (april). Everyone was freaking out in the comments section saying “what?! how did i not hear about this?!” thinking that it had just happened that day. They then would look it up and find out it had happened months before…which made it even more painful that none of them had heard about it.

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