Daniel Halliday
Jul 2 · Last update 5 mo. ago.
Why is the War in Yemen so under reported in the mainstream media?
The civil war in Yemen has a death toll amounting to 8-13,000 casualties, and has displaced over three million people since 2015. For such terrible circumstances, why has there been relatively little media coverage?
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The Media is a profit making organisation
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The media in many countries has actively played down their countries role in Yemen’s civil war
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The number of casualties of the civil war in Syria far outstretches that of Yemen
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The UN’s report accusing both sides of war crimes should help shed light on this humanitarian crisis
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Many conflicts are similarly under reported, Yemen is not an isolated case
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The Media is a profit making organisation

To make profit from news, mainstream new corporations have to somewhat sensationalise stories in order to engage possible buyers (customers/readers/viewers). This is especially apparent now in the age of the internet, where people are buying less newsprint, and news companies are vying for clicks in a much larger online market. Clickbait journalism, sensationalism, and sometimes fake news are being published by many online sources, which sometimes inevitably ends up in the mainstream media.

This environment has left some in mainstream media focussing more of their attention on popular issues, following trends and becoming less impartial, which has arguably lead many news organisations to the large scale dumbing down of their content. These factors have all contributed to a more patchy and biased news coverage by the mainstream media, and this has definitely effected coverage of stories such as Yemen’s civil war. In an age were many journalists are payed by the “click”, and audiovisual news media increasingly turn to sensationalist sound bites to attract viewers, complex, multifaceted stories that require long detailed explanation of history and economic support are inescapably becoming unprofitable and some are therefore overlooked.

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Daniel Halliday
Oct 17
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DH edited this paragraph
This environment has left some in mainstream media focussing more of their attention on popular issues, following trends and becoming less impartial, which has arguably lead many news organisations to the large scale dumbing down of their content. These factors have all contributed to a more patchy and biased news coverage by the mainstream media, and this has definitely effected coverage of stories such as Yemen’s civil war. In an age were many journalists are payed by the “click”, and audiovisual news media increasingly turn to sensationalist sound bites to attract viewers, complex, multifaceted stories that require long detailed explanation of history and economic support are inescapably becoming unprofitable and some are therefore overlooked.
The media in many countries has actively played down their countries role in Yemen’s civil war

As the civil war now features a Saudi-lead coalition funded by governments such as the US, the UK and France, coverage in these regions has been scant. This coalition's tactics of large scale indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas is arguably worse than what have been seen in Syria or Iraq. At such a touch and go time, where trust in the government is low in both Trump-era America and Brexit-era Britain, anything that could possibly cause the reader to question their countries diplomatic relationship to a close ally could be seen as disastrous. Therefore the news media focuses on stories that will not undermine the status quo as much, or cause further anger towards their governments.

The media have been historically society's platform to question government, big businesses and global events. Yet as the mainstream news media have become such a global corporate entity itself its role has shifted to a much more investor focussed, self serving one. The media's relationship to big businesses and government figures has changed the type of content and the amount of certain content that they are publishing. A good example of this is current US president Donald Trump who, through his connection to America Media CEO David Pecker, has been purchasing scandalous news stories that implicate Trump for many years. David Pecker, being a close friend of Trump’s chooses to not publish the stories, but as he has purchased the rights to the story he is stopping other news agencies from reporting, effectively covering up the issue and removing it from the public sphere altogether.

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Daniel Halliday
Oct 17
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DH edited this paragraph
The media have been historically society's platform to question government, big businesses and global events. Yet as the mainstream news media have become such a global corporate entity itself its role has shifted to a much more investor focussed, self serving one. The media's relationship to big businesses and government figures has changed the type of content and the amount of certain content that they are publishing. A good example of this is current US president Donald Trump who, through his connection to America Media CEO David Pecker, has been purchasing scandalous news stories that implicate Trump for many years. David Pecker, being a close friend of Trump’s chooses to not publish the stories, but as he has purchased the rights to the story he is stopping other news agencies from reporting, effectively covering up the issue and removing it from the public sphere altogether.
The number of casualties of the civil war in Syria far outstretches that of Yemen

There has been somewhat limited coverage of Yemen’s latest civil war in the mainstream media. But this may be due to the war in Syria having further reaching implications, especially regarding the issue of the immigration of asylum seekers into Europe. The situation is Syria has been further complicated by the presence of ISIS and has lead more international parties to become involved in the war. Nearly half a million have died in Syria and over 7 million have become displaced.

In Yemen however over 60,000 people have died and over 3 million are displaced. The news coverage, usually divided by geographical region, will reflect this and therefore international news coverage has dedicated more time to covering Syria than Yemen for this region. However, as the war in Syria looks like it is drawing to an end with Bashar al-Assad support from Russia, border roads into the country are now being reopened, coverage of Yemen may pick up in the Middle East, if no other tragedy flairs up in the mean time.

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Daniel Halliday
Oct 17
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DH edited this paragraph
In Yemen however over 60,000 people have died and over 3 million are displaced. The news coverage, usually divided by geographical region, will reflect this and therefore international news coverage has dedicated more time to covering Syria than Yemen for this region. However, as the war in Syria looks like it is drawing to an end with Bashar al-Assad support from Russia, border roads into the country are now being reopened, coverage of Yemen may pick up in the Middle East, if no other tragedy flairs up in the mean time.
The UN’s report accusing both sides of war crimes should help shed light on this humanitarian crisis

The media has struggled to depict this multi-party internal conflict between the government and rebel forces in different governorates of the country. With US drone strikes against Al-Qaeda being prevalent before the outbreak of full-scale civil war, and Al-Qaeda playing a prominent role in the conflict also, this is a truly complex situation. To complicate the matter further Houthi rebels claim the government is affiliated with Al-Qaeda, and the Hadi government likewise accused the Houthi’s of an having Iranian financial and supply connections. The US seemingly backed the Saudi coalition in a response to allegations of this Iranian support for the Houthi rebels. This ultimately made the narrative of this situation more complicated, and was therefore difficult for the media to portray accurately.

But following repeated Saudi air strikes on civilian regions, the call for a cessation of violence in the media has grown. This has been boosted by the UN’s (rather late) report accusing both sides of war crimes, following the earlier veto of UN security counsel resolutions that would have pressured Iran. This has lead to a resurgence of media coverage, that will hopefully lead to a public outcry in America and Britain to cease Saudi military support, and at least decrease the violence in this long standing humanitarian disaster.

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Latest conversation
Daniel Halliday
Oct 17
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
The media has struggled to depict this multi-party internal conflict between the government and rebel forces in different governorates of the country. With US drone strikes against Al-Qaeda being prevalent before the outbreak of full-scale civil war, and Al-Qaeda playing a prominent role in the conflict also, this is a truly complex situation. To complicate the matter further Houthi rebels claim the government is affiliated with Al-Qaeda, and the Hadi government likewise accused the Houthi’s of an having Iranian financial and supply connections. The US seemingly backed the Saudi coalition in a response to allegations of this Iranian support for the Houthi rebels. This ultimately made the narrative of this situation more complicated, and was therefore difficult for the media to portray accurately.
Many conflicts are similarly under reported, Yemen is not an isolated case

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been in a state of instability since the early 1990’s. The Ituri conflict is the most recent flare up in a long line of conflicts in the DRC, with rural ethnic conflicts becoming increasingly violent. NGOs such as the Norwegian Refugee Council, that are currently stationed in the DRC, have reported that “the big wars of the Congo that were really on top of the agenda 15 years ago are back and worsening”. Due to the violence taking place between farmers and herders of different ethnic backgrounds, the UN has speculated that the tension could put two million children at risk of starvation. Yet there is still an inadequate level of mainstream news coverage.

There are many reasons for this, the situation is so dangerous and the violence on-going that to report in this situation poses great physical difficulty as the environment is so remote and dangerous. Also as a long unchanging situation over such a very long time, it is difficult to report on, as it may seem repetitive, like nothing has changed. However this makes it a more important, more imperative piece of news to inform people of, such disastrous situations that do not and have not changed cannot fall to the back of a newsrooms editing floor.

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Daniel Halliday
Oct 16
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DH edited this paragraph
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been in a state of instability since the early 1990’s. The Ituri conflict is the most recent flare up in a long line of conflicts in the DRC, with rural ethnic conflicts becoming increasingly violent. NGOs such as the Norwegian Refugee Council, that are currently stationed in the DRC, have reported that “the big wars of the Congo that were really on top of the agenda 15 years ago are back and worsening”. Due to the violence taking place between farmers and herders of different ethnic backgrounds, the UN has speculated that the tension could put two million children at risk of starvation. Yet there is still an inadequate level of mainstream news coverage.
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