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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Media’s Obsession With Western Tragedies

The world is still in shock over the horrific mass shooting that occurred in Christchurch, New Zealand that claimed the lives of 50 individuals who were at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linman Islamic Centre on March 15, 2019. As we continue to mourn, it is important that we do not view this attack as a one-time incident. All over the world, people are slaughtered because of their religion, race, ethnicity, or political convictions. This shooting is by no means an isolated incident. I would like to take this moment to shed light on similar mass shootings and terrorist attacks that the media has intentionally chosen to ignore for one reason or another. 
I do not wish to write about other acts of terrorism to belittle or discredit the atrocities that occurred in Christchurch. However, what breaks my heart more than any loss of life, is the loss of life that is ignored or glossed over. I understand that the Christchurch shooting was given a great deal of news coverage, considering it is an anomaly to have a shooting in New Zealand; however, that does not excuse the mainstream media from ignoring similar or even worse acts of terrorism against innocent people regardless of geographical location. 
Among the more recent acts of mass terrorism that have been completely ignored and neglected by the mainstream media are the constant attacks by ISIS against Muslims and Christians. On Nov. 24, 2017, ISIS militants bombed a mosque and attacked survivors with gunfire in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. (1) Although President Trump called the President of Egypt to discuss the matter, the media gave this attack practically no coverage. In the end, the final death toll was 305 with 128 injured. While both attacks occurred against Muslims, one got vastly more media coverage because it occurred in a Western nation.
However, Muslims in the Middle East are not the only victims of similar terrorist attacks. Generally, Arab-Christians, and, more often than not, Egyptian Coptic Christians, are frequently attacked by Muslim extremists. In April 2017, 45 Coptic Christians were slaughtered on Palm Sunday in an attack claimed by ISIS. These attacks, although they occurred two years ago, are pictures of a larger problem in our society. 
When similar attacks occurred in France, the United States, and the United Kingdom, we have seen similar responses from the media. Facebook releases its profile picture updates, Snapchat has a filter, and Twitter makes sure the topic is trending. These three responses are quite common when terrorist attacks occur in Western nations. These stories are covered by every single major news organization and condemned by every world leader. However, when ISIS kills hundreds of individuals in Syria or Iraq, there is no Snapchat filter, no trending tweet, and no Facebook profile picture update. 
The loss of human life, anywhere, is horrifying. The loss of life in Western nations should be worth just as much as the loss of life in a war-torn one. While we all mourn the loss of life that occurred in Christchurch, I urge my fellow students to take this time to mourn the lives of Christians around the world who find themselves as some of the most marginalized groups on earth in the Middle East, China and around the world, and let us stand together as brothers and sisters, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, people of all other religions, and atheists to protect and defend the loss of life that goes unnoticed.
Sources
(1)  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/24/world/middleeast/mosque-attack-egypt.html