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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Hundreds killed by Boko Haram - how many column inches does this generate?

It has been a horror filled week with over a dozen people murdered in France and now news of the Boko Haram massacre. Every life that has been lost by evil terrorists should be mourned.

The respective treatment of these two bits of news is interesting. Whilst the terrible events in France have been given wall to wall coverage, the latest events in Nigeria only merit a relatively small article in the back section of the World section of today's Sunday Star Times right next to a large photograph of Benedict Cumberbatch.

Why do the mainstream media continue to give greater weight to lives lost in Europe than in Africa? This criticism has been made many times and yet the media continue to tell the stories of those who they deem to be "like us".

At a time of declining sales and attacks from citizen journalists, some in the media need to do a better job of telling the news. There is a place for the professional journalist, definitely, but this kind of treatment does not do anyone credit.

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