I don’t think I demand too much from media. The minimum is common sense, and when they run stories from other outlets they should at least ask themselves if the story is realistic.
They didn’t do that two years ago when four year old Marwan supposedly walked alone through the desert from Syria to Jordan. The truth was that he walked together with his parents, and they had been a part of a large group of people that crossed the desert together. There were many newspapers and news-channels all over the world that ran the story, but no one seemed to question how realistic this was. You’d think they learned from that incident, but it continues during the present refugee crisis.
Abdul Quader Azizi is a blind, 110 year old man from Afghanistan. He partly walked and was partly carried by eight other members of his family all the way to Germany. This voyage is, according to Google Maps, 5 554 km long. It would of course be hard work to carry this man, but I’m not sure it would be a strainless ride for the old man either. Read about it in The Telegraph.
In another story the 105 year old woman, Bibhali Uzbeki, was carried by her 67 year old son and his children from Afghanistan to Croatia. Read about it in The Independent.
This comes after the shocking image of a boy who had drowned on a beach in Turkey. I don’t know if it was said specifically that these were migrants or not, but many assumed that they were refugees, and this particular story changed everything. The truth was that this Syrian family had been living in Turkey for three years. I can understand their desire to get a better life farther west, but there’s something wrong when we are pressured to accept refugees and we mostly get people that have passed through a lot of safe countries on their way to Northern Europe. I believe there are genuine refugees, but they may not make it to Europe on their own. We are still being told by media that we need to protect these refugees, but from what or who isn’t very clear yet.
Mainstream media haven’t asked any questions and they haven’t reported the thruth. While the flow of migrants/refugees have moved farther and farther north we have heard and read stories from what I wouldn’t even call alternative media. I have defriended a few people on facebook in recent months because they didn’t show any critical thinking and shared a lot of wild stories. I’m not going to refer to the crazy stuff, but some may have been correct. Mainstream media didn’t report on any of this, but it is starting to look like they should have.
I heard stories of refugees that complained about the food they were served, it was too boring. Some refused to get off the bus that had taken them to the shelter because it was too rural. There were stories from Sweden were they didn’t like the emergency housing the local authorities had to get for them in a hurry. I have written extensively on the refugee crisis on my Norwegian blog, but I haven’t mentioned these claims from dubious sources. There still aren’t a lot of outlets reporting on this, but we are starting to get some in Norway. I also found an article in the British paper The Sunday Express on refugees complaining about food, lack of money for cigarettes and slow internet.
This is what we need media for. How common is this? Are these just a few migrants messing things up for everyone? I believe many are willing to help refugees without expecting a lot in return, but if Europe is protecting them from a war and the worst conditions you can imagine, tobacco and unusual food should be a minor concern. These are the kinds of stories I have heard from other sources for a while and I suppose this is a confirmation. Read about it in Express.
It used to be that this complete lack of critical thinking and willingness to ask questions would be detrimental to a journalist and his employer. The readers wouldn’t accept it and the paper would lose all credibility. Lights are definitely out.