The Costa Concordia and Mainstream Disaster Coverage

NOT the Titanic…

Watching the news coverage of the cruise liner Costa Concordia, which ran aground over the weekend leaving a death toll of 6 so far, it’s telling to see how the mainstream media in Britain is covering the accident. The first thing one notices is the sensationalism of the tabloid front pages (which should come as no surprise).  “IT WAS JUST LIKE THE TITANIC!” screamed one headline, despite the fact that anyone can see that there are considerably more differences than similarities (except, perhaps, the general level of wealth of the majority of passengers on board). This is to be expected – the mainstream news in general and the tabloids in particular are constantly making mountains out of molehills (or Titanics out of Costa Concordias) in an effort to shift more copies, in spite of whatever questions of accuracy or sensitivity may arise.

The second thing one might well notice would be the emphasis on the fate of the British passengers, who’s lives as always are worth more in the eyes of the British tabloids than anyone else. It’s telling that no British deaths is, to some newspaper editors, more newsworthy than reporting on those who actually died or who remain missing. One extreme example of this approach to disaster coverage was seen during the horrific tsunami which struck South East Asia in the winter of 2004, killing well over 200,000 people. For days, the British press fervently covered the fate of British ex-pats and holiday makers caught up in the disaster and those who had died, while barely mentioning the almost incomprehensible loss of life the indigenous population suffered.

Compare the accident involving the Costa Concordia to the sinking of a refugee vessel off the coast of Libya during the NATO aerial bombardment, in which 600 innocent men, women and children were left to die by the “wilful negligence” of NATO forces, who allegedly ignored SOS calls. Given that the immigrants were Africans (no white people on board, and certainly no British) and that their deaths may well have been attributable in part to deliberate inaction on the part of Western forces, the media dealt with the event in the same manner in which they deal with any event which proves troublesome to the ideology and propaganda they promote: they ignored it entirely. Only Russia Today covered it on television, with this short news segment:

Genuine compassion for loss of life is not something the media is interested in, despite its eagerness to suggest otherwise through its one-sided use of emotional manipulation. As a friend of mine observed, if journalists were completely honest a report might read more like this:

“A really flash yacht full of well off folk crashed and sank. This may affect you if you know these wealthy folk (which excludes 99.9% of you) nearly all of whom made it off the sinking vessel safe and sound. If you know anything about GPS, radar, sonar etc. then you’re probably thinking ‘it’s virtually impossible for such a vessel to sink so it was probably an insurance job’. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter because in the time it’s taken you to listen to this broadcast many more people have died of preventable disease, hunger and war. These people were probably poor though so you really shouldn’t care less, especially if their deaths came about as a consequence of the actions of your government, who probably wanted them to die in the first place, in which case we’ll use all our powers to make sure you don’t care so that those in power can continue degrading, humiliating and murdering to further their own selfish interests.”

Meanwhile, during the same weekend, hundreds have died through violence in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere. But since the majority of these died at the hands of either our own military forces or those of our proxies and puppets, their deaths are met with silence by the very same media system.

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2 responses to “The Costa Concordia and Mainstream Disaster Coverage

  1. Tarquin Judmeister Jnr

    Great article!

  2. Now here is unmitigated truth! That realist “news article” is especially poignant.

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