Thursday, July 28, 2005

Darfur – Where are the News?

The humanitarian crisis in Darfur and elsewhere highlights the inadequacy of main stream media. As self-proclaimed gate-keeper, MSM has for the most part ignore the news worthy stories such as the humanitarian crisis around the world and instead focus on sensationalized gossips such as the Michael Jackson trial or the engagement of Tom Cruise.

Eugene Oregon at Coalition for Darfur introduces his reader to “Be a Witness.” Check out the site and join “Be a Witness” in asking why our media aren’t more concerned with human tragedies. Nicholas Kristof harshly criticised major networks for failing to bring Darfur to light. In response, newspaper editors provide numerous excuses include one that they have no access to Sudan.

Eugene Oregon [and check out the photos link]:

Sudan does not want journalists freely traveling around Darfur for the sole reason that their reports are going to reveal the true nature of Khartoum's genocidal campaign. Considering this basic fact in conjunction with the efforts currently underway to expand the African Union mission in Darfur, it might behoove all involved to consider embedding journalists with the AU just as the US did during the initial weeks of the war in Iraq.

People want information about Darfur; journalists want access to Darfur; and the UN and AU want (or at least should want) to disseminate information regarding to crisis in Darfur as widely as possible. The US and NATO are currently providing key logistical support to the AU mission and ought to insist that any reporter who wants access to Darfur be assigned to and granted protection by an AU patrol force.
Brian Steidle served with the AU in Darfur for six months before eventually resigning his position so that he could share his photos with the world. Steidle is a hero for doing this - but it shouldn't take personal acts of sacrifice and courage to make the world aware of the genocide in Darfur.
I am far more cynical than Eugene. I think that major news networks are simply giving out lame excuses. The AU would love to have them embedded since it give them more coverage and credits. News networks have always knew this and the fact that they did not do it show their lack of concern, interest, and understanding of the issue. The proof is Michael Yon, a freelancer with a much smaller budget, can cover Iraq better than major networks. MSM is just a dying breed.

3 Comments:

Blogger NYgirl said...

I think the major reasons that the MSM is unenthusiastic about covering Dafur are,

1. they can't blame it on Bush

2. it makes their favorite organization, the UN, look bad.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Dan Morgan said...

I keep thinking that the U.S. needs to work with other wealthy democratic countries to form a "anti-genocide rapid response force". Perhaps this could be done via the UN, but I worry about the decision-making of using force getting bogged down. It is incredible that these genocide situations pop up every few years and the free world stands there flat-footed and puzzled about what to do.

11:00 AM  
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