Prominent left-wing journalist charges that mainstream media’s coverage of Ukraine stems from shock that conflict is affecting white Europeans.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
A prominent left-wing journalist slammed the mainstream media for its coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, accusing outlets of reserving selective outrage for conflicts involving white Europeans but not devoting a similar level of attention to military clashes in the Middle East or Africa.
Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote on her Twitter account Sunday that media coverage of the Ukrainian crisis demonstrates inherent bias, as journalists and pundits express disbelief over the largest act of military aggression in Europe since World War II.
“These admissions of shock that this is happening in a European country are ahistorical and also serve to justify the lack of sympathy for other invasions, other occupations and other refugee crisis [sic] involving peoples not considered white,” she tweeted.
She replied to another Twitter user expressing her agreement with the statement that Ukraine was receiving disproportionate media attention because the conflict affects “Europeans with blond hair and blue eyes.”
“To be clear: We should care about Ukraine,” she added in a follow-up tweet.
“But not because it is European, or the people appear white, or they are ‘civilized’ and not ‘impoverished.’ All people deserve to be free and to be welcomed when their countries are at war.”
Hannah-Jones is one of the architects of the 1619 Project, a longform series of articles that “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the United States’ national narrative.”
Despite historians and critics noting that the work was riddled with historical inaccuracies and errors, she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for the project in 2020.
The journalist wasn’t alone in her criticism of the mainstream media’s coverage of the clash.
Former British Conservative politician and journalist Daniel Hannan’s comments on the conflict in UK daily the Telegraph sparked backlash from liberal activists..
“They seem so like us. That is what makes it so shocking,” Hannan wrote.
“Ukraine is a European country. Its people watch Netflix and have Instagram accounts, vote in free elections and read uncensored newspapers. War is no longer something visited upon impoverished and remote populations. It can happen to anyone.”
Reporting from Kyiv, senior CNN correspondent Charlie D’Agata said the invasion of Ukraine was particularly shocking because “this isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan that has seen conflict raging for decades.
“This is a relatively civilized, relatively European – I have to choose those words carefully, too – city where you wouldn’t expect that, or hope that it’s going to happen,” he added.