Ahsan Butt writing for Asian Correspondent: In Pakistan, the plane crash which killed everyone onboard got more media coverage than the floods, because class has a role in media coverage. Since the article was published, the severity of the floods is more clear, and it is being covered by all media sources. At last count, 800 died.


It was alleged that during the terrorist attacks in Mumbai on 26/11, the Taj attack got far more coverage than the one at Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus, because the Taj attack affected elites, while the railway station shooting affected masses. (The attack on the Taj lasted for 4 days, and channels were covering it live, but that doesn’t matter.) P. Sainath alleges that farmer suicides in Vidarbha do not get media coverage because of a class disparity in media coverage. The same reason is attributed to the lesser coverage of attacks on Dalits.

In some cases, the allegation are baseless. But in other cases, they might be true. I don’t know if it’s a conscious decision, but it is obvious that plane crashes (like the Mangalore one) make for better front-page stories than routine attacks on Dalits and farmer suicides. A news source will always go with the better story.

It is not ideal, but I don’t have a solution either.