“You won’t read about this in the media, but…”

Martin Belam
Nov 15, 2015 · 2 min read

I’ve been watching with first amusement and then frustration as tweeter after tweeter claim the media aren’t covering things going on in the world that they really, really are covering.

At the time of writing, this tweet has had nearly 50,000 retweets

But it’s just blatantly untrue.

Search Google News and you will find pages and pages of reports of the attacks in Beirut. Pages and pages and pages. Over 1,286 articles in fact — lots of which pre-date the attacks in Paris.

The sheer number of people who will, though, happily claim that the media hasn’t reported it does my head in.

Google News results when you search “Beirut bomb”

Here, as a selection, are reports from November 12th about the attack in Lebanon from CNN, the New York Times, BBC News, the Daily Mail, the Wall Street Journal, The Economist and the Guardian.

(We’ll leave aside for a second that the picture included in the Jack Jones tweet is actually a nine year old one from an entirely different incident)

BBC News article from November 2006 featuring the same explosion.

It pisses me off.

Yes. There absolutely is room for debate about the proportionality of coverage of an incident like this compared to something like the Paris attacks that happened on Friday, but to say that the media don’t cover terrorism attacks outside of Europe is a lie.

They do.

But as anyone working in the news will tell you, if you look at your analytics, people don’t read them very much.

Again, it’s absolutely fine to debate the ethical and moral implications of that, both for media organisations and the audience, but it simply isn’t the case that people don’t know about terrorism outside of Europe because it isn’t reported on.

Martin Belam is a journalist & designer who has worked for the BBC, Guardian, Sony and the Daily Mirror. He helped start UsVsTh3m & Ampp3d and runs digital consultancy Emblem. Follow Friday Reading on Medium to get a selection of links to interesting media, tech and politics stories once a week.

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