Today some unfortunate news about the death of a foreign journalist, Tim Hetherington, in Misurata was circulating endlessly on all social media sites. People were deeply saddened and were offering their condolences.
It was a bit too much if you ask me. No disrespect to Tim Hetherington or his family and friends, and may he rest in peace, but people die every day in Libya, especially in Misurata where he died.
There is an evident bias in every syllable of western journalism, or maybe even journalism in general. It seems the deaths of those reporting violence and those intervening are so much more significant.
To clarify my point I’ll give you some news headlines from today.
“Foreign journalist, Tim Hetherington, dies in Misurata.”
“MOD names British soldier who died in hospital after Afghanistan blast as Captain Lisa Jade.”
“200 dead and over 50,000 displaced in post-voting violence in Nigeria.”
“20 dead as protests are dispersed by security forces in Syria.”
“12 rebel death in besieged city of Misurata.” (a couple of days ago)
Do you see the difference between the death of a foreign entity and that of the locals? The worst part is that this is not the first time this happens; it has been going on ever since the invasion of Iraq.
American and British troops are always identified; even their ranks are pointed out. However, the millions of Iraqis and Afghans that have died since the break out of both wars are fused into the numbers on the headlines.
To be fair, some of the local people do get named; only, however, when they’re journalists or “activists”. What does that mean? What’s an activist? And why are they more important than all the rest of the people in the street campaigning for freedom? I mean at the end of the day they can all die with one bullet and are vulnerable to arrest and torture.
Libya’s case is by far the worst. NATO is clearly there to help out the rebels. The main people behind this conflict are the rebels fighting for their freedom. However, even their names are left out of news headlines. Then who the hell matters?
It just seems to me that if you’re not a registered activist (you can register at the Royal Activist Association for Activists (RAAA)*) or a journalist or a foreign soldier, you don’t really matter.
*Note: RAAA doesn’t exist.