Media Bias (Alaska Crash Vs

Sat Feb 05, 2000 9:38 am

I've stumbled upon a number of posts where many of you rail and cry foul against the media for putting out "half-truths" and creating sensationalistic garbage for the viewing/listening/reading public.

As I'm sure at least a few of you have noticed, the media has paid increasingly little (if any) attention to the Kenya Air story in light of the Alaska Airlines disaster which occured less than 48 hours after the first incident. The newspapers and TV shows (not just those in the United States) are peppered with fond remembrances of loved ones, live coverage of non-events whose relation to the crash is thin at best, and the latest outrage and scandal about the symbolism of a gold ring that was discovered by the Coast Guard.

Obviously, this is not limited to just the forum members also have some responsibility to bear.

Why is it that the crash of the Kenya Airways jet (5Y-BEN) drew such relatively little attention on the forum while the Alaska Air crash (N963AS) drew at leat 20 forum posts within an hour of the story breaking and continues to excite such fascination among you all?

While the Alaska Air victims are (May they rest in peace) sitting at the bottom of an ocean trench, pieces of the Kenya Air victims are rotting away in some godforsaken tent awaiting "identification" by passing hordes of family members desperate for any clue. Meanwhile, the NTSB and Coast Guard are spending millions and millions of dollars and creating years of investigation while the KQ crash will most likely never be satisfactorily solved. The Kenyan wreckage is already lost at sea and no one will make any attempt to find it and the cause will most likely never be known. But rest assured AS family members...we will one day be able to tell you that your little Johnny got his because of a rusty screw and then you can turn around and sue what's left of Boeing or Alaska for everything they've got.

Tens of thousands of children starved to death or died of AIDS in Africa today.
But here in the USA, things just move right along no problem as the people get fatter, the cars get bigger, and the TV Shows get funnier.

My intention here is not to be cruel or morbid. I am having difficulty coming to terms with myself as such an egregious hypocrite under these circumstances.
Americans, Europeans, Asians, we have so much in life.

As usual, just my $0.02.

RE: Media Bias (Alaska Crash Vs

Sat Feb 05, 2000 9:46 am

But don't worry....AA will be offering more legroom by June 2000 and BA will be offering sleeper beds in Business Class.

I was clearly a fool to post this topic; I am as guilty as the rest of you.
User avatar
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 2:55 am

RE: Media Bias (Alaska Crash Vs

Sat Feb 05, 2000 10:06 am

My heart aches for those throughout the third world who suffer much every day. I spent the first 15 years of my life in Angola and have witnessed the bone chilling lack of resources that dominates every day life there. The relatives and friends of those abord the Air Kenya flight suffering the same grief and asking the same questions that the people touched by the Alaska crash are.

I see the response of Alaska Airlines, NTSB, FAA, Coast Guard and all others as something that is right. Griving and closure is needed for those touched by disaster. The roles of the NTSB, FAA, Airlines, Coast Guard and others are crucial because an understanding of what went wrong is needed so air travel can continually become safer. I do not deny these people the resources they recieve, rather, I wonder if there is a way that the wealthy countries can find a way to bring the same level of official attention to air disasters all over the world.

As far as the media attention, I think that it is often shameful, morbid, sensational and cruel. It is a beast that is self perpetuating because a story like AS261 sells, because people are interested in news that touches their lives. The fact that we can't bring ourselves to feel compassion and be touched by far off tragedies is also shameful.

Posts: 11896
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: Media Bias (Alaska Crash Vs

Sat Feb 05, 2000 10:19 am

I wouldn't make too much of a big deal about how we paid more attention to Alaska than Kenyan. The reason that I didn't make any comments about the Kenyan jet is that I don't know anything about the Kenyan jet. I know it was an A310. I know it was leaving the Cote D'Ivoire. But that's it. When I don't know something, I tend not to jump in. (Except to learn of course, by asking questions.)

The Alaska incident gets more reaction because it really hits home. Most of the residents on this forum are Americans. Unlike other countries, the vast majority only speak American English, although there are some pockets of Spanish and French understanding. It is very expensive to report internationally, and the costs skyrocket when interpreters are needed. Besides that, Americans have proven that there are more problems at home to deal with rather than deal with the rest of the world. The Alaska accident also hits home because quite a few of us have actually seen an Alaska Airlines jet, and can picture it! I would bet though that most of the posts about that crash are from West Coast residents as Alaska does not mean much on the east. In fact here in Boston, they didn't even say Alaska Airlines at first. They just said "a commercial jetliner" and had a footnote that it was Alaska. The reason is that no one out here knows who that is.

The closer people are to the action, the more interested people tend to be.

Too Us All.....

Sat Feb 05, 2000 10:21 am

your convictions and perception is so very right my friend!

your words are so articulate and well written!

tragedies come in three.... let us pray that the world arrives home safe tonight!


Posts: 1037
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 1999 4:49 pm

RE: Media Bias (Alaska Crash Vs

Sat Feb 05, 2000 11:17 am

Well said AArogance. I can give you a simple answer to your question. The lives of the Africans that died are looked upon as less important, whether the media admits it or not. Twice the amout of people died in the kenyan crash and it got about 20 minutes of play time on the news here in the U.S. All airline crashes are equally tragic, one cannot place a price tag on a human life. I as an American am appalled by the blatant lack of attention given to the kenyan air crash. People actually survived the crash...that is incredible! Why are we not hearing more about the condition of the survivors?

DLX: your point is well taken. It is true that people show more interest in things that are closer to them. I simply believe that many international airline crashes are given almost no media attention, as opposed to a constant barrage when the airline crash is at home. This is what I believe is fundamentally wrong.
Thank You,

RE: Media Bias (Alaska Crash Vs

Sat Feb 05, 2000 5:47 pm

I will not speak to the media attention paid to the AS crash vs, to the Kenyan crash, but I would like to talk about why the Coast Guard and NTSB are spending so much money on the Alaska crash while the Kenyan one "may never be solved".

It is as simple as this... responsibility. The Alaska Airlines MD-83 crashed in an area for which the US Coast Guard has search and rescue responsibiliy. The fact that it was an AS jet is irrelevant. Had it been any other airline, the USCG would still have been responsible for the search and rescue operation. As for the NTSBs time and money, again, it is the NTSB that is reponsible for this investigation. It was an American jet operated by an American carrier that crashed in international waters. This leaves investigation responsibility to the NTSB. The simple fact is this... The US cares more about aviation than some other nations do. I don't mean that offensively, but some nations have more important things to worry about. In the case of the AS crash, the US has a doubly vested interest - the interest of Boeing (is their airliner safe), and the ineterest of AS (are thier operations safe). Because of this, it is worth it to the US to invest the miney needed to solve the accident.

In the case of the Kenyan crash, however, the US has no responsibility what so ever. Because this crash also occured in international waters, it is Kenya that has the responsibilty to investigate. I don't know off hand who is in charge of search and rescue operations in that part of the world, but itis far enough from NA to be the United States. Because the US has no authority in this matter, we are not even at liberty to participate in the investigation. If we for some reason wanted to (if, for example, it had been a Boeing aircraft, giving the US a vested interest in knowing the cause), we would actually have to ask the government of Kenya for permission to take part in the investigation. Further, the nation of Kenya is free to ask for the help of the NTSB, much as Egypt has in the investigation of EgyptAir 990. I don't know whether we would actually devote our resources to the Kenya crash, though, because the United States has very little to gain by learning the cause. It was not an American carrier, it was not an American aircraft, it was not in American territory. If it were more important to Kenya, they would have invested the time and money to salvage the wreckage. Again, I don't mean this offensively toward Kenya, but they have more important things to worry about than luxuries like aviation.

RE: Media Bias (Alaska Crash Vs

Sat Feb 05, 2000 7:41 pm

The cause of the kenyan crash will be found. If a european aircraft is involved the european union investigation team will ask kenia if they need their help.

I dont think any Kenyans cared about the alaska crash.

Posts: 603
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 1999 8:25 pm

RE: Media Bias (Alaska Crash Vs

Sat Feb 05, 2000 10:42 pm

I've said this once on this forum already. Albeit that it is tragic that such an event has happened and that there was the loss of so many human lives. But it's no good throwing a tantrum on the forum about the spate/lack of posts on the matter.

I personally do not post on the subject because I have nothing to say. I say a prayer for them in the night and then that's it. Life goes on.

I would much rather see no posts than 100 posts all saying the same thing and half of them being insincere.

Yes it's a shame but you cannot force people.

Posts: 870
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 1999 1:15 pm

Media Bias (Alaska Crash Vs

Sun Feb 06, 2000 2:00 am

There is no media Bias on the Kenya crash. After checking your profile, and considering your age, I will alter my initial impulse and respond accordingly. All my statements are non threatening, and only my observations. Take them for what you will.

If Alaska had not had a crash, Kenya Air crash would have been top news for about 3 days. It didn't involve the US products, as stated above, so less interest. The media moguls will follow the story as "advertising" dictates or special interest needs to generate "advertising" dollars. The west coast hasn't seen a crash of this magnitude in awhile, so it is like something new to cover. They know people will flock to the news the first few days, and they adjust their advertising space as needed. It's all about "bucks" with the media. The media really could care less about the real issues, it's only about being 'First" and "Fast" to beat the other news organization with the "Scoop". If you think our news media is "concerned", stay in school. The Monica Lewinsky story last year should be enough of a lesson to you that the news media is off track...BIG TIME!

To mention starving children and AIDS suffering other countries vs money spent to investigate and recover evidence from a plane crash is off-base. The real issue is why don't THOSE countries Officials address the problem and get a handle on the starving childs and AIDS victims problem. They have the money, or can get the money. But what are their priorities? Are those countries Officials good planners? are they corrupt? Do they even attempt to educate their people? Give us some more facts. Then maybe you'll see the problem isn't ours. I don't see the connection with the amount of money spent on the Alaska crash. It is our policy and it's a damn good one. Most people know airline regulations are written in blood. Unforunately, we have to spend a LOT of money to ensure that.

I have a 3 cent US stamp in my collection,from the 1930's or 40's... and it has a quote from John Pulitzer, and it reads "Our Republic and it's Press will rise or fall together" written on it. It has a very ominous meaning.

Don't be fooled by the media. Investigate and read yourself. Use different publications, search, learn and study. Never believe everything you read. Use your brain and instincts.

Yes, we spend millions on the Alaska crash, but that is fine with me. If it is for the better, I'm all for it, because the next time I get on an Airliner, I EXPECT perfection.

The Kenya crash, their airline, probably doesn't have the regulations we do in the USA. I bet it was something stupid..ala Valujet Crash,,that caused the Kenyan Airliner to splash.

Posts: 146
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 1999 3:59 am

RE: Media Bias (Alaska Crash Vs

Sun Feb 06, 2000 1:33 pm

I agree 100% with Purdue Cadet andSJC-Alien. What the heck has the Aids disease in Africa got to do with the subject?

I will also ask this: How much media attention was given to the Air Alaska disaster by the Kenyan media?

And I'm wondering if Arrogance knows the answer to that question?

Two tragedies so close together. Lets give our thoughts to the victims, including the crews, up front and cabin, and not let us dwell on superficial stuff to cause controversy.


Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos