I, like most of us, I’m sure, was horrified, disgusted and saddened, when i read/heard/saw the news about the massacre at the Nairobi shopping mall. Between terroristic acts around the world, the mass shootings here in the U.S., and the violence occurring every day on our streets, it often seems like the whole world has gone mad.
The language and tone of the news coverage of the Nairobi attacks — in addition to the content of the reports — left me cold. Writers for any number of radio and television accounts found it necessary to make sure we knew it was an upscale mall. CNN (and I don’t know what others) included the wording in their written accounts ( http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/21/world/africa/kenya-mall-gunbattle/index.html). This just turned my stomach: would the attack be any less horrific if the mall wasn’t “upscale”? Would the 68 (and probably climbing) killed be any less less dead, or the others be any less injured? Would the victims’ families miss them any less?
I’m sure the original reports of the massacre was provided to news outlets by the AP our some other large news provider, but CNN, NPR, and all of the others have editors…and yet the wording stood. I guess a massacre in an African city is only worth coverage if wealthier citizens and foreigners (i.e., Americans and Europeans) were killed? The killings were horrific, sad and frightening; the coverage made me shake my head.
I suppose, though, it helps explain — in a more obvious way — why we hear less about the killing of African-American children in our cities.