Israeli troops have shot dead three protesters along the Gaza border, hours after the United Nations human rights chief criticised Israel for using “excessive force” against demonstrators.
I don’t know how many Palestinians have been shot dead or wounded by live ammunition on preceding Fridays. I haven’t kept count. Last week a Guardian editorial made mention of “a few dozen people” dead and some 1700 injured. That’s become 41 dead and 5000 wounded in today’s reporting.
Maybe the numbers don’t matter.
Maybe all that matters is that things change.
But what are the chances of that when today’s news, just like every day’s news, prefers “big man” reporting? Today the focus (at least on Radio NZ) is on talks between the leaders of North Korea and South Korea – and the opinion of US leaders on those talks.
I’m not suggesting that the possibility of a nuclear free Korean peninsula isn’t news and shouldn’t be reported. But I don’t think the opinion of a “big man” is weightier than the deliberate killing of ordinary people by state forces, especially when those state forces aren’t even under any kind of serious threat. And the former certainly shouldn’t be headlined in lieu of reporting the latter.
But in a world when “newsworthy” and “not newsworthy” is determined by the political bias of media whose agenda is shared by state and/or corporate interests, that’s exactly what happens.
Palestinians are politically irrelevant. Israel is not politically irrelevant. Israel is a “friend” and so where possible, news on Israel should be upbeat and positive or failing that, neutral. The words of Donald (Nobel Peace Prize?!) Trump are more important than the words of Moon Jae-in (who?) and Kim Jong-un put together, and any of those voices are more important than all the voices of all the thousands of Palestinians being shot at by Israeli soldiers. Israel’s silence needs no comment if “upbeat” or “neutral” is the aim. Israel’s silence then becomes “our” media’s silence. Job done.
See. Nothing is happening that we need bother ourselves about, or do anything about. Everything that’s important is being taken care of by our “betters”. And everything that our “betters” have in hand, or have concern about is important. So everything’s covered. Meaning that, at One O’Clock…Two O’Clock…and Three O’Clock…we’ll get our regular 24/7 doze of schnews.