By John Robles
A month ago a storm in the United States left approximately 200 million people without power for a week in ten states covering an area from Washington to Indiana. The news was covered extensively in the Western media, with news flashes and non-stop stories sympathetic to those left in the dark. The coverage of the recent blackout in India which left approximately 670 million humans, or one-tenth of the world’s population without power, at the time of the event, was barely covered.
In this day and age there is not only a problem with biased and misrepresented news in the Western media but also a clear tendency to not report events and stories that do not follow the political, commercial or economic interests of Western media outlets.
The problems in the United States and in India are similar as both countries are faced with ageing and faltering infrastructure that is increasingly failing to cope with the growing demand. India’s power generation is still largely coal-based; a resource that is limited and causes harm to the environment, reasons that one might argue that India should perhaps look towards nuclear power as an option.
The humanitarian aspect of the blackout in India has been under-reported to such a degree that there is little information available as to the number of tragedies, deaths and human suffering that occurred as a result of the massive power outage. Needless to say the death toll must have been high as hospitals and emergency services were completely shut down or left ineffective as a result of the power loss.
Unfortunately much of the Western media chose the tragedy to re-focus on the recent U.S. power-outage and much of the debate that appears in the press is focused on how to prevent this from happening again, however not in India, but in America.
Speaking about political or commercial angle of the journalistic reporting? news, for example, about the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians is something which is neither commercially viable nor something the public should know about; there might be outcry or a loss of support for the war.
The same thing goes for the complete chaos that has occurred in Libya after Muammar Gadaffi was brutally murdered in the street. There were also no reports on the huge number of civilian casualties that occurred in Libya as a result of NATO’s humanitarian bombing of the country.
The tragic destruction of Afghanistan and the deaths of Afghani civilians is another area that is under-reported when it sheds a bad light on the Western military adventure in that country.
The genocide against the Serbian people and continuing destruction of Serbia is also something the Western press does not report on.
The list goes on and includes locations all over the world, in particular in third world or developing countries, where Western interference or manipulation has brought about conflicts and caused massive death and destruction.
Africa is another perfect example, even when it comes to the death of Christians in Kenya at the hands of Islamic extremists, is there an outcry for humanitarian intervention? Of course not, the Christians in question are poor and black and there are not enough resources there worth pillaging.
Is it that the West and Americans in particular, see little value in the lives of others? Or is it that they see little import in the deaths of those who come from poor and what they see as backward nations? Or perhaps, as they say ignorance is bliss, and the media is just protecting the masses from the uncomfortable truth?
Needless to say this is a problem for those who seek the truth and honest and fair reporting. The truth can not be changed, however it can be hidden and not reported on, and this is something that must be addressed.
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