Ankara to Brussels: Is Western media biased in terrorism coverage?

World Today

Are terror attacks in the west like what happened in Brussels getting more attention than attacks in other parts of the world?

That’s what some critics are saying.

CCTV America’s Elmira Jafari reports.

Ankara to Brussels: Is Western media biased in terrorism coverage?

Are terror attacks in the west like what happened in Brussels getting more attention than attacks in other parts of the world? That's what some critics are saying. CCTV America's Elmira Jafari reports.

When the Belgian capital shook with explosions, the whole world shook with it. Expressions of solidarity poured in from around the globe.

But could the same be said for the Ankara bombing in Turkey? And does the western media treat some terrorist attacks differently because of location or race?

The death toll from two attacks were nearly identical, 35 in Brussels and 37 in Ankara.

But Brussels received an outpouring of sympathy, accompanied by around-the-clock coverage by the Western media, even days after the attacks.  Ankara, not so much.

Many people noticed the difference. Some complained on social media. And at least one of those complains got noticed.

In Turkey, a British national living in the capital, Ankara, posted this message on Facebook, “You were Charlie, you were Paris, will you be Ankara?”

His post was shared 40,000 times.

Terrorists have also recently struck more than a half dozen other countries, including Lebanon, Mali, Yemen, Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, Egypt. and Pakistan.

Do you recall any headlines from Mali or Cote D’Ivoire? 

Some people said this is a matter of geography — that if a bombing happens on the other side of the globe, it’s harder to relate to it.

Others said it’s a matter of racism, placing higher value on whites than on Middle Eastern or dark-skinned people.

Britain’s Independent newspaper suggested a different answer: The attack in Brussels was “not more appalling, not more deadly” than the one in Ankara. 

It was “more unexpected and unpredictable”.

And for that reason, the Independent said the media coverage has been “rational,” not “racist.”


Journalism expert Al Tompkins on media ethics

CCTV America’s Mike Walter interviewed Al Tompkins, the Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online about media ethics.

Journalism expert Al Tompkins on media ethics

CCTV America's Mike Walter interviewed Al Tompkins, the Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online about media ethics.