Writers are speaking out about the way terrorist attacks in France have been covered in the media compared to Nigeria. Boko Haram continues to wreak havoc in Nigeria and its surrounding countries; a devastating attack in Baga last week left at least 150 civilians dead, though some reports claimed the death toll reached as high as 2,000. Still, coverage of attacks in Paris dominate news outlets.
The Guardian wrote, “What makes one massacre more newsworthy than another?”
“Reporting in northern Nigeria is notoriously difficult; journalists have been targeted by Boko Haram, and, unlike in Paris, people on the ground are isolated and struggle with access to the internet and other communications. Attacks by Boko Haram have disrupted connections further, meaning that there is an absence of an online community able to share news, photos and video reports of news as it unfolds.”
Others also noticed the lack of concern the world seemed to have for ongoing Boko Haram terrorism.
Author and blogger Sarah Bessey wrote a blog entitled “A Lament for Nigeria.”
“We repent of how we ignore you, of how we turn a blind eye to your suffering and your brilliance, of how the nations of the world continue to look on with only empty words and threats, of how our compassion has yet to turn to action,” she wrote. “Your massacres, your sufferings, are forgotten, it seems.”
Religion reporter G. Jeffrey MacDonald suggested a reason why Nigeria goes unnoticed while a first-world country grabs attention writing on Twitter, “#ParisShooting resonates w/ #press. Most press can't relate to murders of Christians by extremists in Nigeria. Helps explain coverage gap.”
Publication date: January 16, 2015