Bias Analysis: Al Jazeera article vs. Fox News article: Coverage of Attack on Pakistani Christians

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Al Jazeera: “Pakistani Christians Rally Over Lahore Attacks” by Associated Press

This article was published on the website of the news channel Al Jazeera English on March 10, 2013, and was written by the Associated Press. This article is brief and does not include many details about the attacks, but it does include quotes from witnesses that kind of evoke some emotion and make the piece more personal. I think this could be because this news organization is based in the Middle East and therefore could have some bias towards those living there, leading them to present a more heart-tugging, emotional picture of the event than another paper would. Also, there is some information about the Middle Eastern culture in this article as well – blasphemy is explained to be a “serious crime” there when committed against the Prophet Muhammad. 

Also, this article makes it seem like the Christians are the victims of the attack, describing how they fled from the area because they “feared for their safety” after the ransacking of their homes. It also talks about the lack of protection that the Christians were receiving from their government in Lenore, making them seem even more victimized. The focus of this article is primarily put on the tragedy of the robberies and less so than on the riots afterwards – they even call it a “rally” instead of a riot. The picture attached to the article is one of the Muslims attacking the homes of Christians.

Overall, the tone of this article is almost strictly factual and to-the-point, but there are some evocative quotes thrown in from witnesses that add to it rather well. I am fairly certain that the next article will not be anything like this one…

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The Next Article: Fox News: “Hundreds of Christians Clash with Pakistani Police after Homes Burned by Muslim Mobs”

This article was posted on Fox News’ website on March 10, 2013, and was written by the Associated Press.This almost leads me to believe that this could possibly be the same article in two different places, but the one on display on this site is significantly different. Not only is it much longer than the one on Al Jazeera, but the focus is put more on the damages that the Christian protesters did to others’ property than the damage that was done to their own. The rally is described as a “demonstration” and a “clash” against local police. It almost makes the Christians seem like they were the ones who did something wrong. No mention is made of the lack of protection that Christians got in Lenore, while the previous article did mention that. Also, the series of pictures attached to this article are all of the rallies that the Christians did, not of the ransacking of their homes.

The overall tone of this particular article is pretty factual as well, but the things that are not details – like quotes and numbers – make it seem like the Christians were the evil ones for protesting the attacks on their homes. It’s kind of disconcerting. Clearly Fox News just wanted to make an exciting story full of violence and destruction that people would want to read, while Al Jazeera seems to only be focused on presenting a more honest picture of the events.

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