I know a lot of people complain about the lack of positive news, and that’s certainly a valid point. There is too much negativity in the world! But what I’m concerned about in this post is the lack of coverage of news stories that are strikingly similar to ones that received MAJOR coverage.
The first one that made me aware of this happened in my own state last August.
I couldn’t believe it. Less than a month after the Aurora shooting. The Aurora shooting was covered extensively – everyone knew about it, everyone was rightfully shocked and saddened by this tragedy. My news feed on Facebook was covered with people scared, angry, and mourning. However, the shooting that happened here in this very state less than a month later only made it to my news feed once, and by someone who doesn’t live in Wisconsin. If I were to bring it up in conversation with someone in the very state where it happened, there is a significantly large chance that they have no idea what I’m talking about. I thought of it the other day and brought it up to a friend who hadn’t heard of it. It almost felt like I had dreamed it and I had to come home and research it to make sure it was real.
In my Native Geographies class one group of students did their research project on the Navajo and the Uranium mining.
This is what reminded me of the shooting in Wisconsin. There was a large spill in 1979 in New Mexico, the Church Rock Spill. Have you heard of it? Have you heard of Three Mile Island Accident? Because I had certainly heard of Three Mile Island, but I had never heard of Church Rock. And yet, the Church Rock spill released more radiation, and was a mere four months after the Three Mile Island Accident. Data that was later found to be significantly skewed was released to the inhabitants, with estimations later found to be grossly inaccurate. And it’s radiation and uranium mining that still haunts the Navajo today: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/27/us/27navajo.html?_r=0
What do these seemingly unrelated stories have to do with each other? Sadly, that they are both minorities. Yes, it’s true that they’re also more rural too – but think about it. If a man walked into a Christian church and shot six people, do you really think that wouldn’t make the news?
Please don’t think I’m saying the other stories are any less tragic or don’t deserve the attention they’ve received. All of this, every death, every injury, is tragic. I’m merely saying that these stories don’t deserve to be brushed under the rug as they have been.
That said, are there any other stories we’ve missed over the years? Is this something you’ve noticed as well? Please share your thoughts in the comments.