Opinion piece criticizes US media’s handling of foreign conflicts


American media’s coverage on global wars and conflicts needs to be fundamentally reimagined, an opinion piece published Tuesday by The Washington Post said.

Columnist on foreign policy Katrina vanden Heuvel argued that the US media needs more reporting on forgotten conflicts. According to the opinion piece, last month, the big three US television networks spent as much or more time covering the Russia and Ukraine conflict as any other conflict during any month of the past three decades, including the United States’ 2003 invasion of Iraq.

“We have seen troublingly little coverage of raging conflict in other parts of the world,” the opinion piece pointed out.

The opinion said the Yemen’s civil war received 92 minutes of coverage on the three broadcast networks from 2015 through 2019 – compared with the 562 minutes of coverage Ukraine received in March 2022 alone. Also, the Tigray War in Ethiopia received only occasional mentions on the channels.

The columnist further observed that the current media covering is characterized more by punditry and bombast rather than truth-telling and de-escalation, which is worse.

“The coverage that does exist tends to frame war in the abstract: What’s the strategy? Who’s ‘winning’ the war?”

At a White House news briefing last week, reporters pushed press secretary Jen Psaki on why the United States wasn’t doing more to arm Ukraine, instead of asking about diplomatic solutions that might avert further civilian casualties.

The cable news’ featured security, intelligence and military experts consistently include former government officials who consult for weapons manufacturers and defense contractors, and focusing on who’s “winning” a conflict can easily lend support to escalation, the columnist said. -China Daily