Increasing Death Toll Among Syrian Protestors
The modern media is the principal source from which we hear about international and national issues that are going on in our world today. Although the media is a potent source of information, not everything reported is necessarily credible or factually correct. Many factors such as what region of the world the media source originates from and who is reporting it cause there to be bias in what we read in newspapers, online articles, and what we watch on television. In many countries, for example Iran, the government controls the media, causing certain facts to be left out and others included as the government sees it. How biased the media source is relative to the background of the country reporting it and sometimes even their perception of the other country as a whole. All of these factors ultimately lead to the bias we see in modern historiography. In recent news, newspapers from the United States, Taiwan, Qatar, and Israel report on the recent Syrian anti- government protests, during which seventeen protestors were killed. Each source puts its own twist on the issue, or in other words, its own bias. Often, it is only by comparing news sources from countries both in the same region as Syria and those on completely different continents can we truly pinpoint the bias and differences in how issues are reported. The bias in the CNN article is focused mainly around the death of Syrian children and civilians as well as the Syrian government torturing the protestors. This article is quick to antagonize the Syrian government for its harsh actions against the anti- government protestors and does not focus on the pro government rallying other than to merely state that it happens. In addition, the CNN article begins by stating the deaths at the anti-government rallying. For example, “The death toll included two children in the city of Homs, and a child in the Damascus suburb of Douma,” (CNN, October 26 2011). Of all the articles, this was the only one to begin with the death toll, further emphasizing the harsh and oppressive Syrian government. The article describes the violence between the Syrian forces and the protestors in great detail, saying that, “..the use by Syrian forces of nail bombs, which are prohibited under international law. The weapons have been used against peaceful protesters..,” (CNN October 26 2011). The fact that the article points out that the nail bombs are illegal and that they were used against “peaceful” protestors builds a sense that the Syrian forces are out of control and must be stopped. It is not truly clear whether the protestors are peaceful, but rather it seems to be assumed here. The article goes further to focus on the torture of Syrian protestors in state run hospitals by the Syrian government. It states that, “Amnesty International issued a report accusing the Syrian government of torturing wounded protesters at state-run hospitals,” (CNN, October 25 2011). By referring to tortured protestors that injured in hospitals, the article further builds hatred towards the Syrian government. Overall, it is clear that the article is one sided, and takes a stand against President Bashar al-Assad. Yet another bias that is noted solely in this article is the fact that the United States ambassador for Syria, Robert Ford, was pulled out of the country due to threats against his life. Furthermore, the article shows its own bias as the closing sentence refers to climbing tension between the Syrian government and the United States government. It also notes that the death toll so far in Syria has hit 3000, whereas the articles from Armenia, Israel, and Taiwan reported a number that is significantly less.
Unlike the CNN article from the United States, the Taipei Times focuses its attention mainly on the oil...