Image courtesy of Teddy Tan.
On 24 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his army to launch an invasion of Ukraine. Since then, there has been such a devastating war between the two nations that almost one crore Ukrainians have been displaced.
Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine is a direct violation of human rights and a clear attempt to undermine the sovereignty of the nation. Journalists covering this struggle are playing an important and challenging role.
However, it is essential, at a time when everyone is looking to the media for guidance and understanding of global conflicts, that reporting is sensitive to readers, viewers and listeners of all backgrounds.
The media decides who and what deserves the attention of the readers. It decides what is breaking news and what is not. But when the news that is broadcast is unnecessary for the excess of bias and discriminatory language, the media loses its credibility.
These points may seem obvious; However, the conflict has generated much racist and Western exception coverage.
An excellent amount of racist comparisons have circulated in the media between the legitimacy of concern for the war in Europe versus the Global South. The notion that the war in Ukraine should be considered serious because it is taking place in a European country has become a rather popular one.
I was particularly impressed by some of the statements. In live discussion of the conflict with the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, CBS News’ Charles D’Agata noted that Ukraine “is not a place like Iraq or Afghanistan … it is a relatively civilized, relatively European nation.” D’Agata’s statement indicates Two points about this conflict. The first is that since Ukraine is in Europe, this issue takes precedence over any other nation, especially countries in the Middle East. The second, and arguably the most outrageous bit, is the idea that the nations of the Global South are “uncivilised.”
“They look like us. That’s why it’s so shocking… War is no longer seen on poor and remote populations. It can happen to anyone,” said British journalist Daniel Hannan in wire, A commentator on French TV Screamed, “We’re not talking about Syrians fleeing the bombings of the Syrian regime backed by Putin, we’re talking about Europeans getting into cars that look like us to save their lives.,
It’s this kind of dialogue, so blatant and short — full of white supremacy — that really shattered my faith in the coverage of this war. In the words of Al-Jazeera author, this is a perfect example of this, Patrick Gathara“Pearl-clutching” Western Exceptionalism.
How can someone call themselves a journalist when they center their perception of the world around the West? How can there be so much intent to deprive an entire region of the world of their rights as well as bring justice to the people?
Every moment of this conflict has been reported. Every moment has been analyzed and condemned. What makes this conflict more worthy of screen time than the wars in the global south – on virtually the same grounds? Well, according to the obvious moral distortions of the Western media, that’s because it’s happening in Europe. In other words, it’s happening to white people.
Worse yet, these distortions have far more than just skewed moral and ethical implications; They also hold geopolitics. If this is how the West responds to the escalating conflict in its own region of the world, it signals that there will be no real impediment to those who choose to do the same thing as Putin in other countries—as long as it is a Western Doesn’t disrupt the world.
The attention the crisis has attracted in Ukraine has resulted in immediate action by governments globally. From economic sanctions to providing military aid, Ukraine has the backing of many powers. We are seeing the effects that the slowing of global sanctions can have, and hopefully the war will stop.
It is also notable that, even though the repercussions of these sanctions continue to significantly affect the economy of the United States, businesses and other financiers continue to commit to financial opposition and disapproval of Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
Such a reaction from the West appears to be unheard of when “facing” the conflict in the South. One reason for this is that the ideologies that influence racist reporting on Russia-Ukraine are shared by policymakers in the West; And part of that can probably be drummed up for the lack of coverage that these conflicts receive as a whole.
That is the power of the media. It is the responsibility of the media. If we choose to reveal the horrors of war, we must reveal them everywhere. The destruction of Palestine by Israel. Saudi Arabia’s attack on Yemen. US airstrike on Somalia.
Journalism is an incredibly important factor in a democratic society and the words that journalists print and speak have a huge impact. We cannot use language that simultaneously justifies one terror and condemns the other. We should adopt inclusivity in journalism as a necessity.
If the Western media want to discuss the harm that threatens sovereignty over the people of a given nation, they must discuss the dangers of sovereignty everywhere.