Nick Jackson
Mar 23, 2016 · 2 min read

Let’s get one thing straight here before I start. Terrorism is deplorable, and should be robustly challenged in all its forms.

Now that’s out of the way, can we all please stop working ourselves into fits of self-indignant rage about things such as “Brussels getting all the attention whilst Ankara and Istanbul go unreported”? The same thing happened back in November, when sympathies for the Paris attacks were met with “yeah, but Kenya doesn’t get sympathy, where is the news coverage for that?” despite the attack being back in April, and being heavily reported at the time.

All those attacks were reported in national press. I’ll agree though, they weren’t reported to the same level as Brussels and Paris. Now I’ll explain why.

Did you know that Ashley Keiron Keegan has gone missing in Aberystwyth? How about a protest in Bath? There’s a man in Newcastle who’s been charged after taking upskirt videos, and a rash of wheelie bin fires in Blackpool. If these things were happening on your doorstep you would feel some element of involvement, but because they’re happening in Aberystwyth, Bath, Newcastle and Blackpool there’s a good chance that at most you only really care about one of them.

This is why Ankara, Istanbul and Garissa (that’s the one in Kenya) don’t get as many column inches as Brussels. Because Ankara, Istanbul and Garissa are a long way away physically, socially, culturally and economically. It takes a much larger and much more unusual event to generate as much news coverage at a distance as the event would locally, because whilst we may want to pretend that all things are equal we really don’t care if there’s someone setting bins on fire in Blackpool, but we’d be concerned if he was setting them on fire on our street.

Nick Jackson

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