In the aftermath of the numerous tragedies that we have been experiencing internationally these past few weeks, there has been outrage over the amount of public attention given to one horrendous event over another. It is no surprise to me personally to see certain events, like the attack on Paris, being viewed with higher priority than those in Kenya for example. Not only is France an ally of America, but it is a European country. Beyond that, it is a famous city that many Americans have a personal connection to either through travel or through media. People feel like they know the place, and very few people comparatively feel like they understand the vast and diverse countries of the Africa and the Middle East. However, not being surprised and not being hurt are two different things completely. No one event is any more significant than the other. Ultimately, the massive attack on human life is a major loss not only to the families of those affected, but to the world.

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5 responses »

  1. cassidy says:

    I think the media/news outlets have a lot to do with this indifference. These outlets are the ones deciding what gets out there, what information is the most accessible to western audiences. I wonder how the general public can become aware of underreported worldwide issues with this lack of journalistic integrity.

  2. jonesa0913 says:

    I agree with your comments. The priority of media coverage was really disgusting to me and indicative of how African countries are often otherized. Even the ability to show your support via Facebook (placing a French flag over your profile picture) shows how European nations are regarded with more importance.

  3. doriebailey says:

    The French flag filter (mostly seen on Facebook and Snapchat, but I’m sure other sites used something like that as well) seemed so trivial to me, especially when more and more people were talking about the injustice of focusing on the singular incidents happening in Paris versus the other terrorist attacks happening outside of Europe. There’s always debates about “clickstivism,” clicking activism, on sites like Facebook, because it’s easy to show support by sharing an article or liking a page, but it is another thing entirely to actually move the activism and care about these tragedies off-line and into the real world through action. This is not to say that the French attacks were not as important as the other ones that happened around the same time–I agree that “No one event is any more significant than the other.” It just seems so typical of Western media to really popularize and spread a news event, especially one this tragic, as it pertains to Western interests, rather than considering the wider perspective of the rest of the world.

  4. hannahginsberg says:

    I think its also interesting that because France is a developed country people are shocked that such a horrific incident could occur there because to them its so “out of the ordinary” when in reality there are countries and individuals who have to face these horrors or similar horrors on a daily basis – not that these incidences aren’t as upsetting no matter where they occur.

    • alexanderlandau says:

      You bring up a good point. Western media assumes that violence occurs daily in less developed or non-European countries. Thus, a horrific incident isn’t “out of the ordinary.” For some less-developed or non-European countries, daily mass violence occurs. But, either way, “normalizing” violence in less-developed or non-European countries is wrong. Any terrible event, no matter how many people are killed or wounded, is important and deserves the same recognition as horrific incidents in more developed countries.

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