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Media Bias At its Finest

Angela Scroggins, Public Relations Manager

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Image credit to www.slate.com.

Image credit to www.slate.com.

The bombings in Paris, France were printed in newspapers and covered for days. But what about the bombing in Beirut, Lebanon? Granted, the bombing in France had more fatalities, but Beirut still has the same amount of significance. But according to the media, Paris was more important, and deserved more coverage.

So why did the media focus more on the bombing in France? Could it be because of the location? Is it more common to find English-language journalists and tourists in Paris, France than Beirut, Lebanon? It makes sense for journalists to focus more on writing articles that connect and affect us Westerners, but it shadows the importance of what happened in Beirut and how it is just as significant.

For example, on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 14, readers of the printed New York Times were greeted with a memorable and horrific front page. “PARIS TERROR ATTACKS KILL OVER 100; FRANCE DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY,” read the double-decker banner headline–the emphasis reserved for the biggest stories. Approximately three-fourths of the front was given to coverage of the Paris attacks, with three large photographs and three separate stories on the topic.

The Paris attacks received similar emphasis in the Sunday and Monday Times, and understandably so. “Terrorists Attack a World Capital” is, by any standard, front-page news. The front page of the Times on Friday, Nov. 13 also featured news of terrorist attacks in a world capital.

The ISIS-linked bombings in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed at least 43 people and wounded hundreds more, weren’t as prominently featured as the Paris attacks would be the next day. “Dozens Killed in Beirut Attack,” read the below-the-fold reefer in the bottom-left corner of the page, alongside a blurb directing readers to turn another page for more on the story. By Saturday morning, the Beirut bombings had dropped off the front page entirely.

The intensity of both tragedies should affect us the same, no matter the location, but media portrayed it in a way that made it seem like Paris was more important. 

There are many more tragedies from this year that I haven’t even heard about. Do some research and you’ll notice the media bias occurring. What else aren’t they covering?

Information taken from an article written by Justin Peters “Does Paris Matter More Than Beirut?”

 

Reference:

Peters, Justin. (Nov 16, 2015) “Does Paris Matter More Than Beirut?” Slate. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com

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Media Bias At its Finest