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What price human life?

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Kronos, 25 Apr 2013.

  1. Kronos

    Kronos Multimodder

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    The answer to that question is dependant on where you live according to the media and in particular broadcast media, Sky and the BBC 24 hour news are channels I will single out for my criticism.

    3 people killed and a 100+ injured in what can only be described in the context of bombings worldwide as a pretty minor terrorist attack yet it got wall to wall coverage for some days yet a building collapses in Pakistan where over a 100 are killed and over a 1000 injured barely gets a mention in yesterdays news coverage by the two stations.

    Prior to that, a few weeks ago, we had a guy killed falling down a 'giant' sink-hole which opened up under his bedroom and dying which again received an inordinate amount of coverage whilst much more news worthy items received little more than a footnote.

    We of course have the endless coverage of mass shootings in the US, hardly unheard of in that country so why is so much time given over to reports and interviews with any and everybody the reporter happens to bump into?

    So if you are white and American then any deaths are more news worthy than if you are say Asian or middle eastern and from countries in these areas?
     
  2. bodkin

    bodkin Overheating

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    The thing is, and I am not saying it is a good thing, building collapses and bombings are very common in certain countries. After a while they become the norm.

    A bomb in the US on the other hand is a big exception to the rule, and therefore newsworthy in the eyes of new corporations.
     
  3. Kronos

    Kronos Multimodder

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    I take your point about bombings and building collapses but one could argue that mass shootings are pretty commonplace in the USA yet they still receive, in my opinion, over the top coverage on television news to the detriment of our own national news and other, perhaps more important, events worldwide.
     
  4. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    I don't think you'll find many here who would say disagree with you saying that it's sad to see the difference between events in the US and other countries cover wise.

    Sadly as bodkin has said, it's almost become the norm for terrible things to happen in other countries, but when it happens in America it's more of a shock (in theory) and of course the big news corporations are going to care more/be able to get more money from a story about the US than a different country.
     
  5. Tomhyde1986

    Tomhyde1986 What's a Dremel?

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    I imagine it also has something to do with the nature of the incident as well as it's location, human casualties etc.

    A building collapse is a tragic accident unless proven otherwise which will probably never happen. A bomb attack is a deliberate and planned event intended to kill or maim as many people as possible.

    The bombing is simply more shocking because it was planned. The fact more people died in the building collapse is irrelevant sadly in terms of marketing for popular media outlets. The popular media run stories that outrage or shock simply because it sells papers / gets viewers at the expense of other equally worthy news stories.

    That's how I see it anyway.
     
  6. Archtronics

    Archtronics Minimodder

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    Depends on your perspective I suppose, a large portion of my family live in the US so naturally news about the US interests me more than other areas. News channels focus more on what people are intrested in so they get the viewers rather than actually reporting news sometimes.
     
  7. hellblazer.doom

    hellblazer.doom What's a Dremel?

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    The fact that it happens more should be even more disgraceful. The death of ANY innocent people no matter the circumstances is an injustice and this needs to be rectified. The US and the UK are both guilty. Not only do the US ignore this, they actually carry out the attacks over foreign soil and have killed thousands of innocent people and said "sorry guys, collateral damage", and nothing else ever, has made my blood boil more than this.

    The Boston bombing attacks were described by Obama as an act of terror, so maybe he can point out the difference between this and drones striking Pakistan recently killing innocent people including children on HIS orders. Where is the justice for those people? The majority of fatalities from drone strikes are innocent people, and this fact only should show this disgrace for what it is. Blatant outright hypocrisy on behalf of the US and that is just the tip of the ice burg.
     
  8. aLtikal

    aLtikal 1338-One step infront of the pro's

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    The fundamental problem with news papers in the way that they cover certain news areas that aren't that major, compared to others that news that is - is because a newspaper has to be bought. And they have to sell it. If the newspaper was free and independent, I believe they would be more inclined to cover the real news in an honorable hierarchy of importance. Instead they are sold with catchy headlines, and covering topics that are of high interest to the general public - but low importance overall. The general public is the biggest market and they are not fussy about what gets covered and what doesn't - they just want a story to read. Once again, voting with your wallet about what newspaper you buy is the best way to make a change - but its a catch 22 because no newspapers are free, and if they are - they don't provide news in the honorable hierarchy of importance - they use tacky headlines instead.
     
  9. Shirty

    Shirty W*nker! Super Moderator

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    I'll just quote myself from the Boston thread (before it went a bit weird and tinfoil hats were issued):

     
  10. walle

    walle Minimodder

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    If there is a car accident in Virginia I would not expect it to be plastered all over the news in Bangladesh, I don't believe the latest school shooting got the same coverage in Bangladesh either, then discussed for weeks.

    If we were to follow your pseudo-logic bangladeshians would be anti-white racists. Reasoning? "Racism through lack of news coverage"

    Lastly Kronos.
    Don't be such an anti-white racist ***** or self hater buddy.
     
  11. Odinster

    Odinster What's a Dremel?

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    I think alot of it is either catering for the audience; if your audience is American they will generally care more about the goings on in America. But the other part is News is essentially something thats not normal. If building collapses occur regularly in a country, that's not 'news' but a pre-medidated bombing in a country that doesn't see this often is 'news'

    Sorry I may not have explained that in the best of terms.
     
  12. walle

    walle Minimodder

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    It is not that it doesn't matter.

    We are told to care for everything that happens these days, human beings do not have the capability of doing so, we are not equipped for it, it is becoming too much, system overload, there's simply no space left. Pretty soon we will not have any heart left to care with.
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2013
  13. MightyBenihana

    MightyBenihana Do or do not, there is no try

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    Sorry to be the conspiracy theorist here but most news organisations, particularly those in America (the mainstream news, CNN, MSNBC, Fox etc) are no more than propaganda tools and it does not serve the interests of those which finance these news corporations to report things fairly.

    Many of those higher up the corporate ladder are heavily invested in the military industrial complex and so have a vested interest in maintaining the war on terror.

    The control and manipulation of the news in the in America would have made Stalin proud. Fortunately all these news organisations ratings are falling due to the younger demographics moving away to alternate forms of news, such as the internet, mainly due to a lack of trust.

    I could go on but I don't really want to write an essay.

    As always if you want the truth, follow the money.
     
  14. Shirty

    Shirty W*nker! Super Moderator

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    I'm sure coping (for want of a better word) with the tragedies of life was substantially easier before the modern era.

    Because for 99% of people the majority what occurred outside their village/street/block was a total mystery.

    I try to keep abreast of the world's events by listening to Radio 4 news a couple of times a day, but I think 24 hour news is a cancer on western society. It's depressing, pointless and awkward in equal measures.
     
  15. Ending Credits

    Ending Credits Bunned

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    I agree with this, although I would phrase it slightly differently.

    News is for news, if you want drama, go watch a drama (or go read the dail fail). I don't have the capacity to care about the victims of a far off disaster, but I can acknowledge it and, if I ever get the chance, do my bit to help. If something happens closer to home, then it's more relevant to me.
     
  16. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    The cost of human life? where and who? a black in South Africa, $4k-7k. A white in the US, $50k. The truth is in most of the world, life is fairly cheap.
     
  17. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    It's not "What price human life?" but: "What price my life?". We take more notice when the life threatened or lost reflects our own. It bothers us more when it could (have) happen(ed) to us.

    I saw an interesting picture on the page of a newspaper lately, about the plight of civilians in the Syrian civil war. It was the photo of a little girl, obviousy caught up in the mess, staring with wide-eyed innocence and distress into the camera. What made that picture hit the front page, I suspect, is that she had blond hair and blue eyes. Now you're taking notice, Westerner.

    This is not racism; it is a simple psychological fact that when a victim looks like us we are more likely to empathise. When their lives resemble ours, we empathise more. When the disaster happens at home rather than Far, Far Away, we empathise more.
     
  18. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    I take the broader point that the coverage of the bombings in Boston received much wider coverage than the building collapse in Bangladesh. If it's any consolation, the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, didn't receive much coverage either. It also killed more people than the bombings in Boston.

    I think there are several things at play here. One is of course the nature of news organizations to report with bias. The bias isn't necessarily intentional, either. Western news organizations are simply more likely to report on events that affect western interests. The building collapse in Bangladesh, while tragic, doesn't really affect the lives of most people here in the US. We have our own industrial accidents to report. Likewise, I wouldn't expect the Bangladesh Times to dedicate much coverage to the Texas fertilizer pant explosion.

    The other consideration is that of intent. Accidents happen. Buildings collapse. Sink holes open up. Fertilizer plants explode. Of course it's sad when people die in an accident, but we can't ascribe much to it when there is nothing more to blame than degrading concrete, eroded soil, or ammonium nitrate catching fire. We report the event, we mourn, then we clean up the debris and move on. Bombings and mass shootings are perhaps less avoidable. They are deliberate criminal acts that someone took the time to plan and carry out. Someone (or a group of people) set out to intentionally take life in a dramatic manner. Going back to my earlier statements regarding unintentional bias, I wouldn't really expect newspapers in Bangladesh to dedicate much time on every mass shooting. It happens often enough here, but it doesn't really affect the lives of the average person in Dhaka. On the other hand, given what's currently going on in the world, when two guys who may or may not have any real ties to Chechnya carry out a bombing that may or may not have been inspired by a misguided belief in Islam, you can bet news agencies will be interested in the US government's reaction. The last time someone attacked us we invaded the wrong country. The Czech Republic may want to watch out!
     
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  19. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    True; unusual events make us sit up and take notice more. Just as more people are afraid of flying than driving even though it is safer, people consider guns kept in the home more of a safety risk to children even though hundreds more get killed every year by drowning in the swimming pool in the back garden.

    What constitutes an unusual event can, of course, vary widely by location and circumstances.
     
  20. walle

    walle Minimodder

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    There are those who call for invading foreign countries, true, they express knee jerk patriotism, misguided at best, it is not a thinking position. Reminds me a bit of those who cheered on when Japan was hit with a tsunami viewing it as payback for Pearl Harbor, say what?
     
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