One of the major factors in the success so far of the “Jasmine Revolution” — the wave of pro-democracy revolts across the Middle East — has been the empowering international press coverage of the protests.
Yet in recent weeks, this coverage in the United States has been overwhelmingly focused on just one country where these revolts are occurring — Libya. While the events in Libya, where rebels are battling the Qaddafi dictatorship, certainly merit coverage, the American press has unfortunately failed to provide the same detailed coverage to the events in Yemen and Bahrain, two U.S. allies where mostly nonviolent protesters are being brutally put down by the armed forces in those countries.
A ThinkProgress analysis of press coverage by the three major U.S. cable news networks — CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News — from March 14 to March 18 finds that Bahrain received only slightly more than ten percent as many mentions as Libya and that Yemen received only six percent as many mentions as Libya:
- Libya: Libya was mentioned 9,524 times by the major cable news networks.
- Bahrain: Bahrain was mentioned 1,587 times by the major cable news networks.
- Yemen: Yemen was only mentioned 599 times by the major cable news networks.
The lack of coverage of the situation in Bahrain and Yemen isn’t disturbing just because the atrocities being committed there merit coverage. It’s especially alarming because, unlike Libya, both are close U.S. allies and recipients of major U.S. military and economic assistance — meaning that the U.S. actually bears a responsibility to make sure its assistance is not being used in ways that are contrary to American values.
One network that has been paying close attention to the revolts in Bahrain and Yemen is Al Jazeera English. It filed a detailed video report yesterday from the scene of a government attack on protesters in the capital Sana’a. Watch it:
Al Jazeera English is currently running a campaign to petition U.S. cable and satellite providers to bring the network into more American homes.
We need your help to propel Truthout into the new year
As we look toward the new year, we’re well aware of the obstacles that lie in the path to justice. But here at Truthout, we are encouraged and emboldened by the courage of people worldwide working to move us all forward — people like you.
If you haven’t yet made your end-of-year donation to support our work, this is the perfect moment to do so: Our year-end fundraising drive is happening now, and we must raise $150,000 by the end of December.
Will you stand up for truly independent, honest journalism by making a contribution in the amount that’s right for you? It only takes a few seconds to donate by card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, or Venmo — we even accept donations of cryptocurrency and stock! Just click the red button below.