Boko Haram is getting away with murder, lietrally.
20 Nigerian Women Kidnapped By Suspected Boko Haram
News story: Women reported kidnapped in northern Nigeria
Aljazeera Link– http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/06/20-women-kidnapped-north-nigeria-20146100439854823.html
Byline: Not stated
Date: June 10, 2014
News story: Nigeria Boko Haram crisis: ’20 women abducted’ in north
BBC Link– http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27774239
Byline: Not stated
Date: June 10, 2014
The Huffington Post
News story: 20 Nigerian Women Kidnapped By Suspected Boko Haram Gunmen
The Huffington Post link– http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/09/nigeria-women-kidnapped_n_5473484.html
Byline: AP Haruna Umar
Date: June 9, 2014
Earlier this week, approximately 20 Nigerian females were abducted in northeast Nigeria near a town called Chibok. The kidnapping occurred in the same area as “the 200 school girls abduction,” back in April, and it is more than likely that the same group responsible for the previous kidnapping is responsible for this one as well: Boko Haram.
Because of the story’s national ranking and importance, many news publications picked it up –In their own way of course- but none the less, they all reported it. The three publications; Aljazeera America, the BBC and The Huffington Post, all incorporated the universal basic facts about the kidnapping into their stories, as they should have; and two of the three even used the same quotes.
However, The Huffington Post- which reported the Associated Press’s story- and the BBC had recognizable similarities. For example, the order in which they gave information coincided with one another and they used similar words to describe Boko Haram and the females, such as militants and women.
Aljazeera referred to the females as women, young mothers, and girls. The BBC called the females women, and the Associated Press referred to the females as women and girls. All of the words chosen are pretty standard and straight to the point, which isn’t surprising since none of the stories are really about the abducted women to begin with. The BBC’s story focused on how inactive the Nigerian military is in responding to Boko Haram. The AP focused on how out of control Boko Haram has gotten, and some of the horrific crimes that they have committed thus far.
The women’s abduction, in two of the stories, were treated the same way; as the byproduct of the “real” or bigger issues. The involvement, or lack thereof, of the Nigerian government in their nation’s crisis (BBC), or the power of the Boko Haram and how many deaths they are responsible for (AP), have somehow managed to overshadow the importance of the women being abducted.
The BBC focused on how the Nigerian government is not doing their job. They even went so far as concluding their story with “The UK government is due to host a ministerial meeting about northern Nigeria’s security in London on 12 June, following on from last month’s summit in Paris about tackling Boko Haram,” which is basically tells the readers that if the Nigerian government won’t step up and take care of its own country, some will have to and that someone will be the UK government.
Aljazeera America’s version of the story, on the other hand, seemed rather timid compared to the others. Their story was the most objective and straight to the point, and the safest of the three. I would argue that Aljazeera is more conscience and cautious of how they address Boko Haram in their stories compared to other news publications, due to their location. Proximity, I’m sure, plays a huge role in how journalists’ decide to write their stories. Not so much in the obvious way that one’s location affects their writing; but in terms of how safe they feel or don’t.
It’s far easier, I could imagine, to call a reckless criminal, a reckless criminal when you are reporting from the opposite side of the world; than when you are in the reckless criminal’s range of reach. Unless they are being reckless criminals, solely for the purpose of generating attention, they may develop an urge to inflict some of their recklessness onto the media people who continue to slander them in the news. Geesh, reporting the news can be a dangerous job, almost fatal.
Warning: I am about to completely contradict myself. Ok, I know I just went on about how the people at Aljazeera may perhaps be afraid for their safety, but I changed my mind. Although the people at Aljazeera could indeed be reluctant to write freely such as the BBC or Associated Press, I don’t believe that is the case in this story.
It just occurred to me that maybe Aljazeera has an agenda of not slandering its own people (meaning Africans, East Asians, and middle easterners). They report in such a way that accommodates everyone, especially themselves. Aljazeera reports the news accurately and truthfully, but they do not elaborate or dwell on aspects of the story that could possibly be damaging to the regions reputation and overall image. It’s almost as if they want to remain in good standings with all of its neighboring countries. They, in my opinion, do not want to create or reflect images that are too painful to admit to the world, in addition to being in the same region as the Boko Haram, in this case, who is obviously trying to get a rise out of the media.