The quotation marks around international in the title of this blog is a metaphor displaying how international news is not as international as corporations would have their audiences believe. One example of how international news can be ignored or deemed unnewsworthy based on news values of western organisations is the events of the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring began just as western news corporations were winding down for the Christmas break in 2010 (Cottle 2011). This caused the events to be underreported in western countries. Peter Lee-Wright outlines in his article, “News Values: An Assessment of News Priorities Through a Comparative Analysis of Arab Spring Anniversary Coverage”, that the first year anniversary of this event was not reported on sufficiently and that this is due to orientalism and that there was very little western involvement in the events.
The fact that news organisations failed to report on the first year anniversary of the Arab Spring could be due to continuity of the story. Most news outlets did not report on the original events therefore were unable to pick the story up to report on the anniversary. I feel that this is a poor excuse as the Arab Spring has been deemed an historical event with citizens changing the political sphere of several countries from protesting their dissatisfaction. When news outlets reported on the events they reported with sensationalism and exaggeration of protests held. Simon Cottle states in his article, “Media and the Arab uprisings of 2011: Research notes” that when western news outlets, when they reported the events, credited Twitter as the tool for their attempt at liberty, calling it a “Twitter Revolution” (2011).
Deaths that occur in events such as this are reported as a number without investigating the story behind an individual or group of people. This detaches the audience from the fact that many human beings have lost their lives and their families no longer have them around, numbing viewers. This is audience apathy, where viewers can no longer care or they have seen the same reports of deaths, tragedy and pain enough times to block it out of their minds.
To be honest, I don’t really understand why news values, like newsworthiness and whether it is a good enough story to be sensationalised, should be the deciding factor for the reportage of events around the world. We now live in a globalised and international community, especially with the internet; why are journalists not reporting on everything rather than just events that involve their own country or a certain group of people? If journalists have the time to report on a skateboarding dog, they have more than enough time to report on things that matter.
Why should “news values” decide what stories are released instead of the actual event?