Why didn’t you hear about a terrorist attack in Nigeria?

By Jade Sells

Over 2,000 women, children, elderly were killed and even more injured by Islamic extremist in Nigeria just one day before the Paris terrorist attacks on Jan. 11, 2015. This attack has been grossly overshadowed and neglected by the media. It is not to say that one is more or less important than the other, but Obama’s absence in Paris following the attack seems to have overshadowed both attacks and the tragedy of all of the lives lost.

This points to the priorities of the media, which in turn is related to the interests of the public. The media seems to always be looking for the next scandal or mistake made by government officials and better yet, President Obama. So much that the lives of more than 2,000 Nigerian and French people have been washed out by a flood of media focusing on President Obama’s actions.


Chuck Todd, chief White House correspondent for NBC News and the host of “The Daily Rundown”. Photo by Austin Cannon

Chuck Todd expressed this concern while speaking at The Washington Center reception this evening. He explained that the media should reevaluate priorities in coverage and avoid saturation that neglects other areas and events.

Journalists find this difficult when they are constantly having to consider what their readers are interested in reading. A story on President Obama’s mistake is what the public is looking for and is interested in. While a story on the Nigerian terrorist attack is paddling upstream against a strong current of other articles about President Obama, and may only reach a small group of people.This meaning that in order to be competitive, journalists must report on what people are looking to read.

This can be frustrating but at the end of the day, a journalist’s job is to produce a product that sells.

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