Lib Dem Voice

The Saturday debate: Do we pay too much attention to news from the US?

Here’s your starter for ten in our Saturday slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

The tragic killing of six and injuries to thirteen others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, have received heavy coverage in the UK media, not only in response to the shooting itself but also following up the story subsequently. Yet other recent political deaths from countries around the world have received, at most, very little media coverage in the UK.

There are partial explanations – such as the murdered Nigerian politician being a local government figure rather than a national figure and the murdered Ukranian political party leader was leader of a small party. The murder in the Philippines received the most coverage in the UK, due I suspect to the tragic photo of the event. The murdered politician, Reynaldo Dagsa, was taking a family photo just as the murderer was pulling his gun, so the last act of Dagsa was to take a photo that shows his murderer pointing a gun straight at him. The killing of the Punjab governor in Pakistan received the most coverage, but even his death has received much less coverage in the UK than the US story.

So is it that the injuring of Gabrielle Giffords alongside the killing and injuring of others rightly justifies far more media coverage than other events? Or is that the media does not pay enough attention to countries such as Pakistan (a key country when it comes to events in Afghanistan and a country to which many people living here have close family ties) or the Ukraine (a country whose relations with Russia are important for our energy supplies and prices)?

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