This week has been ridden with disasters - the Boston explosions and today's gunfight, the explosion at the Texas fertiliser plant, the ricin-laced letters sent to a US senator and Barack Obama, and the earthquake in Iran. Unfortunately, they are the harsh reminders of what a fearsome world we live in. We should not be subject to such worries, yet, on a daily basis, many are; anti-terrorism legislation, constant presence of surveillance devices and security announcements on public transport serve to remind us.
This week’s Boston bombings were a horrible event for the hundreds of thousands of citizens to endure. Twice this week, ordinary people have been warned to not leave their homes and been left stranded with a continual threat of death, disaster and destruction to their relatively peaceful lives. Causes for celebration became crime scenes and, as is far too common in the United States, a place where people go to learn, became a place where people should avoid for their own safety. It is not a situation that anybody should have to experience.
Hence, it is ludicrous that people should use such time to promote their political message. As support and solidarity was expressed from people across the world, others took the opportunity to attack the media for their coverage of the events in contrast to the coverage of other equally-important events. On Twitter, there were messages along the lines of “the media are forgetting that people die in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria everyday”. But this is a sad argument. Yes, it is true that people do die in these sorry situations, but there is no reason to devalue the deaths and injuries of those affected in other crises.
Indeed, media coverage of events in war-struck zones is not as high as it should be and there are areas of the world that the media do prioritise over others. This is wrong and this is unfair, but the death of anyone is a highly important event. It is important to provide coverage to any distressing events, but to capitalise on the coverage of one act of terrorism to protest the lack of coverage of another is disrespectful.
The world is a truly dangerous place in which to live. Damage is done to individuals and their environment almost constantly, and the right coverage is never given, and equal coverage will never be possible. We are experiencing a period of complete upheaval of our beliefs and faiths and this is not something that should be ignored. We should not tolerate any threat to life, but to use one horrific event to protest about another is simply petty. Save it for another day.
By James Phillips