Is it biased to talk more about 3 deaths in Boston than about 50 people who died in Iraq?

I saw that sentiment reflected in my social media feeds today – probably because my circle of connections extends into very diverse communities in different countries, beyond white Western people.

That was one of my first thoughts too, I have to admit, that many more people die every day in attacks around the world and it doesn’t attract as much media attention. I wholeheartedly feel for the victims, and send my best thoughts to all affected – but one couldn’t help but wonder.

Is it Western media bias? Hypocrisy? Racism? Isn’t all suffering equal? Have we lost a sense of perspective?

I don’t think it’s about that, however.

I think it’s a shock factor. While we hear reports of Middle Eastern and African conflicts almost on a daily basis, US (and Western world in general, think London or Madrid bombings) is considered safe and protected. So when something happens there, it seems much graver because it’s not the norm. Even the Mumbai bombings – no one expected that and it was all over major publications and channels.

Media is news and sadly some of the world’s suffering isn’t news anymore.

What I take from today is a reminder about all of the horrible things happening to people around the world. Boston bombings are devastating, but hopefully they bring more attention to other terror attacks too, in other places, which leads to more action and hopefully a better future for all of us.