Opinion: Coverage of Ukraine is Showing the Media’s Bias


Nuha Maflahi

The invasion of Ukraine has been the biggest disaster since the pandemic started coming to an end. All across the world, media outlets have been covering the story with live updates for months as world leaders are calling for peace between the countries. It’s been 6 months since the invasion and it hasn’t been forgotten, there are still updates all the time on the situation in Europe. Meanwhile, other humanitarian disasters are happening in other countries too. Israel continues to kill innocent Palestinians, including children. The U.S is causing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world in Yemen. There are crises happening in Venezuela, China, Sudan, and more. These issues don’t get talked about at all in the western media, especially the American media, even though they’re equally important. The war in Ukraine has proved how hypocritical the western media is when it chooses which issues it cares about.

I think that the biggest reason these issues in other countries don’t get talked about is because of racism. Non-white people are constantly stereotyped as violent, or uncivilized, making it easier to dehumanize us. Because we’re dehumanized, whenever we’re suffering, we get ignored. Europe and white majority countries are seen as civilized so when something happens in one of those countries it gets all the attention. These human rights issues have been happening in other countries forever and they go unreported, but as soon as it’s a white country that’s suffering, the media is all over it. Reporters have been under fire for saying that the war in Ukraine is more significant than what’s happening in the middle east because it’s happening in Europe. One CBS reporter said, “this isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan, that has seen conflict raging for decades. This is a relatively civilized, relatively European”. One student, Redha Jaweed said in an interview that the American media specifically doesn’t do enough when disasters happen in other areas of the world. “There’s been disasters happening in the middle east, southeast Asia, the hunger crises in Africa and they get ignored. America didn’t care about them but as soon as Ukraine got invaded that got all the attention”.

The second reason I think that Ukraine is getting attention right now, specifically in American news, is because America isn’t in the wrong here. America has been causing disasters but it’s almost never spoken about on the news even though it’s the job of the news to keep the government accountable. Some examples of what America has done would be funding Israel even though they’re committing genocide against Palestine and providing Saudi Arabia the military equipment to keep bombing Yemen. Mainstream American news doesn’t talk about those human rights violations nearly enough.  In the case of Ukraine, America is the good guy so the western media, specifically American media, gladly covered it. The media don’t put America in a negative light which is why Ukraine is getting covered more than other issues when the U.S is in the wrong.

We shouldn’t let the media and our government ignore other countries. The media need to be held accountable because if they don’t cover what’s going on anywhere else, then the people won’t know about what’s happening elsewhere. Being aware is the first step to ending suffering so take a little bit of time to learn about what’s going on in non-western countries. Let’s take the first step and educate ourselves on different crises because bringing awareness to an issue is the first step to solving it.