Dear media, what happened to Ebola? And the Beirut attacks?

Even before the horrific Paris terror attacks of Friday, I was wondering what had happened to Ebola. Where’s the coverage?  Most media outlets forgot about this story, despite it being one of the worst tragedies of the past year.

The outbreak is over, with things getting better all over Africa. Many accuse the media of being exclusively negative and report only the bad news. Let’s prove them wrong.

Until the disease had a possibility of entering our borders it was reported so much that people were going paranoid in both Europe and the US. Other countries kept suffering the disease after the US and Europe were considered to be safe from it. Nonetheless, coverage started fading.

This attitude gives the media a bad reputation. Lately people have been wondering why the attacks in Lebanon have not been reported enough. Not all news is the same however.  Today  Reuters, the daily mail, BBC News and The New York Times decided to report on the last Ebola case and the recovery process.

In this article The New York Times payed attention to Beirut and the lack of its’ media coverage. I was glad since critical thinking should be a Journalist’s best friend yet many prefer the big story.

I don’t care if Lebanon lost only 40 lives instead of  the 100+ of Paris. They’re still human lives and deserve to be mentioned. Yet on Friday morning, before the Paris attacks occurred, the Beirut bombings were covered scarcely.

So, since Paris is closer than Beirut, those who died in there don’t matter?

They deserve the same commemoration, the same condolences and flowers on the street, the same hashtags on Instagram and Twitter, and the same flags on profile pictures. I did not put the French flag on my profile picture. If I did, I would’ve had to do the same with the Lebanese one.

The same happened earlier this year with the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Everyone expressed their sadness, which is right. But what about the Peshawar massacre in Pakistan? Less than a month earlier, hundreds of children, were slaughtered at school by a bunch of Taliban in retaliation of the killings of Jihadists by the Pakistani army.

Online and print covered it, but social media? I do not recall anyone putting the Pakistani flag on their profile picture in support of the families of those children. What about Broadcast?  very little coverage. It was brief and always labelled as world news, instead of breaking news.

So, I ask the media and media junkies like me , is it right to only light candles for Western victims? What can we do to raise awareness on the lack of equality on terrorism coverage?

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