During these last couple months I have been enthralled (obsessed?) with the events that have been occurring in the Middle East. While I have been watching these dramatic events unfold, I have had the chance to witness varying opinions and points-of-view while I have been using multiple sources of information, such as; Twitter, Al-Jazeera English, CNN, BBCWorld, and NPR. When it came time to read about the next “Breaking News” I would have the opportunity to explore all these sources and witness for myself the subtle and sometimes significant difference within the language and the images used when it came to reporting a story.
I will give a brief comparison of words that have stuck-out in my mind as I have been noticing these nuances within the diverse sources of media. The biggest difference I noticed is the words that were used in regards to the people during the Egyptian and Libyan “Uprising”/”Revolution” for weeks there would be stories of the “rebels”/“anarchist”/“martyrs” which were “killed”/“murdered” for “freedom” or to “overthrow the government”.
As most people know, the goal of most news sources is to be as factual as possible when it comes to reporting (really? even Fox News?) – but, there will always be discrepancies within the personal background of the reporters, the affiliation the news has with its sponsors, and the point-of-view associated with race, gender, age, etc., of all those involved with the creation and the presentation of the story.
Knowing this, I still think it is amazing how blatantly biased news sources can be when it comes to actually telling a story that should clearly be fact based and without opinion. The biggest not-so-subtle variation I saw repored took place this last week with the "abduction"or "institutionalization" of a women that was raped and was one point reported as a drunk and prostitute.
I have posted the alternative point of view story that appeared after the Eman Al-Obeidi became a global news event. If you have had a chance to see my previous blog post "The Politics of Rape" please watch this next video and you will have the chance to see how depending on where you live, can make a huge difference with how you will hear a story.