Jeremy Corbyn has joined other voices in criticising the mainstream media over their coverage or rather lack of, over the recent terrorist attacks that took place in Lebanon and Turkey.
Drawing attention to recent attacks in Ankara and Beirut, he said that “a life is a life” no matter where in the world it was taken.
The Labour leader argued that compared to the Paris attacks, they got “hardly any publicity” and called for the media to “report things that happen outside of Europe as well as inside”.
While Corbyn stressed that he found the Paris attacks appalling he urged the press to report as faithfully on similar events.
He accused British media of under-playing the deadly attacks by Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) on the Lebanese capital, Beirut, and the Turkish capital, Ankara.
Some 43 people were killed and hundreds wounded in two suicide bomb attacks in a residential area of Beirut last Thursday, while explosions in Ankara last month killed 102 people and injured over 400.
While ISIS claimed responsibility for the Beirut bombing, no one has yet claimed responsibility for the Ankara attack, although one of the bombers is believed to have had links to ISIS.
“I think first of all what happened in Paris was appalling, this is a vibrant, multicultural city, young people of all faiths, and older people as well, all there together, and cultures, and this terrible thing happened,” Corbyn told ITV’s Lorraine Kelly on Monday morning.
“Likewise, which didn’t unfortunately get hardly any publicity, was the bombing in Beirut last week or the killing in Turkey. I think our media needs be able to report things that happen outside of Europe as well as inside. A life is a life.”
Corbyn’s comments echoed that of Lebanese doctor Elie Fares, who wrote on his blog that the deaths in Beirut had been treated as “irrelevant” compared with Paris.
“When my people died, no country bothered to light up its landmarks in the colors of their flag,” Elie Fares wrote.
“When my people died, they did not send the world into mourning. Their death was but an irrelevant fleck along the international news cycle, something that happens in those parts of the world.”
Since the Paris attacks, several internet users have drawn on this theme to criticize mainstream media coverage of terrorism around the world.
However some reporters have disputed the claim, arguing that the atrocities in Beirut and Ankara were covered fully at the time.
The social network giant Facebook has also been criticised for not activating its safety features for the Beirut bombing but doing so for the Paris attack.
Why don’t we have a “Facebook safety check” for the Ankara or Beirut attacks? Some lives are more worthy than others. Western lives matter.
— Erkan Bayir (@erkanbayir_EN) November 14, 2015