Why is news coverage so unbalanced?

Article by: Olivia R.

Visual by: Kaye O.

On November 21, 2018, I asked several classmates if they had heard about the suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan the previous day. Over 50 people had been killed with 94 wounded. It was a tragedy, with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani declaring the 21st as a day of national mourning.

To my shock, more of my classmates knew about the Fenty Beauty holiday collection release than the bombing. I had no words to describe what I felt. I wasn’t angry at my classmates. Rather, I was angry that despite wifi, despite social media, a makeup collection release in America had more news coverage than a suicide bombing in Afghanistan.

When analysed further, this unbalance in news coverage is logical; most news and media outlets are controlled by developed countries. While news in developing countries is covered in the media, news in developed countries take precedence, such as the Las Vegas shooting in 2017 and the Paris bombings in 2016. However, because the world is changing – because what happens in other countries can now have immense influence on our own – being informed of global events, especially in developing countries, is now more important than ever.

While news in developed countries  But this is why news exists – to inform people, not only of good things, like the Oscar winners and makeup releases, but also of suicide bombings and political turmoil.

This unbalanced news coverage only fuels my fear; I fear that people who access media from developed countries will remain ignorant to problems elsewhere. Because of globalization, it is important not only to identify as citizens of our prospective countries, but as citizens of the world. If people become so wrapped up in superficial news about celebrities, movies, or fashion, we risk forgetting the hardships and tragedies experienced by others.

Though people say “ignorance is bliss”, ignorance will not raise awareness for the improvement of our global culture, lifestyles, and society. These changing times call for changing representation, in both media and news.