From 2004 to 2008, the crisis in the Congo received shockingly low media coverage. ABC News dedicated nine stories (an average of two per year), NBC News, six, and CBS News has reported only once about the situation in a span of five years.
Every evening, we are treated to news stories about celebrity scandals, sports trades, and affairs by politicians. The media has lost its touch (assuming it ever had one) and has now become one huge regurgitation machine of gossip and corporate agendas. The so-called “news” isn’t that anymore, and as a result, viewers very rarely get an actual glimpse of what is truly going on in the world. In the absence of objective reporting and journalistic integrity, we will continue to be fed ignorance by the media in all shapes and forms.
Here are five issues that have been neglected by the mainstream media for one reason or another that we believe everyone should have knowledge of:
1. Five Million Dead in the Congo
Every month since 1996, 45,000 people die in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; five million people have died in what is the greatest human loss of life since World War II. From 2004 to 2008, the crisis in the Congo received shockingly low media coverage. ABC News dedicated nine stories (an average of two per year), NBC News, six, and CBS News has reported only once about the situation in a span of five years.
2. How Many Iraqis Died?
The US Army says it doesn’t track civilian deaths; however, it does use data on how many Iraqi civilians die every month as a benchmark in claiming the situation has improved. Research published in 2007 stated that more than a million Iraqis have died due to the US occupation, placing it in the category of the Rwandan genocide and Cambodian killing fields. The media has given very little air time to this and other studies which have put the Iraqi civilian death toll at 600,000. (Several media outlets labeled that a “controversial figure”.) A testament to how great the ignorance on Iraq remains: a 2007 Associated Press poll found that the average American had believed in a median estimate of just 9,890 Iraqi deaths as a result of the war.
3. Obama Flip Flops on the Armenian Genocide
Candidate Obama, in an effort to clench the Armenian-American vote, repeatedly pledged to recognize that the killing of Armenians in April of 1915 constituted genocide. However, President Obama decided that the time wasn’t right just yet and has backtracked on his promises. Many pundits have stated that Obama using the term “genocide” would derail US-Turkish relationships at a time where the US needs an ally in Turkey. The reality is that Turkey is highly dependent on the US economically and militarily. Had President Obama used the word genocide last month when he issued a statement about the anniversary of the April 1915 events, there is nothing Turkey could’ve done about it. As a matter of fact, so far 26 countries have recognized the Armenian Genocide.
4. World Wide Slavery
There are 27 million slaves in the world today, more than any other time in history. When these statistics were unveiled in 2008, the world had a hard time accepting them. More than 180 nations have signed dozens of anti-slavery agreements; however, the majority of these have done little to curb the human trafficking industry. It stands third in the list of the most criminal activity on the planet, rivaled only by drug trafficking and the illegal arms trade. The demographics of those trapped in slavery are also changing; no longer do we only see impoverished people from the third world being sold or working forever as slaves. The growing disparity between the very poor and the very rich, along with social inequality, provides a growing pool of humans who will be subjected to slavery.
5. Iraq and Afghan War Vets Speak out about War Crimes
The BBC expected the Winter Soldier conference to make headlines all over the world media. Ironically, the event received groundbreaking coverage indeed: only one news outlet decided to cover it. The gathering of war veterans brought forth chilling confessions of crimes that had been committed against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. The crimes included torture, attacking civilians, destroying property, and desecrating corpses. Even more outrageous was the admissions from these soldiers that scandals such as Abu Ghraib and Haditha were not isolated incidents carried out by a few bad “apples”, but are rather much more frequent than reported in the media.