The word media was once mockingly defined as the plural of mediocrity. When it comes to coverage of Darfur, describing the media as mediocre would be overly generous.
Since 2003, almost two million people have been displaced by a campaign of genocide undertaken by the Sudanese government against the people of Darfur. Estimates of those killed range up to 400,000 people.
In June, CNN, FOXNews, NBC/MSNBC, ABC, and CBS devoted over 8, 000 segments of coverage of trivial matters like the “runaway bride,” the Michael Jackson trial, and actor Tom Cruise. Meanwhile, the same stations aired only 126 segments on Sudan.
The vast majority of Americans continue to rely on broadcast and cable television as their primary source of information. Whether it is coverage of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s, the Ethiopian famine in the 1980s, or recent coverage of the tsunami, television news can help stop grave injustices and end human suffering. Increased television coverage of the genocide in Darfur has the power to spur the action required to stop a devastating crime against humanity. In short, increased television coverage of the genocide in Darfur has the power to help save thousands of lives.
Today, American Progress launches its “Be a Witness” campaign so you can ask news organizations why they won’t cover the genocide in Sudan. Call on them to be a witness to genocide by giving the Darfur genocide the coverage it so clearly deserves.