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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Is the Media Fair? What You Can Do About the News

Two black men are killed by police officers. One black man takes it upon himself to get retribution and kills five police officers and injures more, including a civilian. News coverage lasts two days, even on international news stations.

The shooter in the Orlando nightclub killed 49 people and injured 53. International news coverage was day and night for two days.

Suicide gunmen-bombers attacked the Ataturk Istanbul Airport, and 41 people were killed. That same day, the airport reopened. International news coverage lasted one day.

In Nigeria this year, hundreds have been killed—hacked and burned to death—by Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram militants. Did you even hear about those killings? The 300 schoolgirls from Chibok are still missing a year later. One escaped and told her story.

In Baghdad, on July 7th, 292 people were killed when a truck bomb went off in a popular place in the city. Many more were injured. It barely made the news. I saw one photo of the aftermath—gray, burnt-out buildings and cars and debris. It was a huge area!

When the terrorists attacked in Paris (both times), there was outrage and a global reaction. Remember “Je suis Charlie” and Facebook “Pray for Paris” and profiles turned blue, white, and red in solidarity? Remember the march, the candles, and the piles of flowers?

In West Virginia last month, 23 people lost their lives in floods. I personally know people who went to help in relief efforts. (Thank you, Pastor Guy and Donovan!) People from surrounding states and from farther abroad sent water, clothing, money, and went and helped with the cleanup. “Pray for West Virginia” made it to many social media posts.

That same week, the Yangtze River flooded in China, and 180 souls went out into eternity. It was hardly mentioned on international news channels.

This past week, clashes in South Sudan killed 210 people. Did you hear about it?

There’s something lopsided going on. Why does the world’s media cover in detail something that goes on in North America or Europe, but if something even more disastrous happens in Africa or Asia, it barely gets a mention? Is this fair? I watch the news and wonder. Why do multiple casualties get more coverage in one part of the world than in another? To me, it doesn’t seem fair or caring enough.

Every soul matters.

Every tragedy matters.

We need to be aware—and care.

We need to pray for people in Turkey, Nigeria, Sudan, South Africa, India, and China. We need to realize that every family that suffers loss is a real, live family—just like ours. We need to care!

Our souls need to weep for those killed in Baghdad just as they cry for Parisians gunned down at work and play. We need to care enough to help the young girls kidnapped in Nigeria just as much as we should care about trafficked young women in our own country.

As Christians, we need to learn the mind of Christ.
  • Without prejudiceFor there is no respect of persons with God (Romans 2:11). But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors (James 2:9).
  • LovingAnd the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Matthew 22:39).
  • Treating others as you would like to be treatedAnd as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise (Luke 6:31).
  • Having compassion for the lost and confusedBut when he (Jesus) saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd (Matthew 9:36).
  • Being missions minded and prayingTherefore said he (Jesus) unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest (Luke 10:2).

We can’t change the world’s media, but we can change the way we look at the world. I believe we can do this by:
  1. Being more discerning and listening well to the news. Maybe we need to look online to see what’s happening all over the world—not only in our little corner.
  2. Learning world geography. It will help us have a vision for reaching the world with the gospel.
  3. Stamping out racism and prejudice, starting with us. View every person as our equal. (Every person on earth descended from Adam and Eve!)
  4. Praying for those affected by tragedies. (When we hear about them, we pray.)
  5. Help out. If tragedy occurs close enough to us to lend a hand or give material things for relief, we do it.
  6. Being soul conscious and seeing human beings as people who need the Lord—everyone, everywhere. Touch those we can, and be involved in world missions.
God, help us.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, 
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, 
but have everlasting life (John 3:16).


Please share your thoughts.