Mass killings of innocents based on their identity characteristics are sometimes well reported in the media, sometimes not so much. The variations in reporting impact on efforts to prevent the continuation of the mass killings and to institutionalize remedies for them.
The paper will attempt to explain the differences in reporting on genocides by considering genocides which have been relatively well reported - of Bosniak Muslims in Bosnia and Tutsis in Rwanda, and a genocide which is poorly reported - the mass killing in China of practitioners of the spiritually based set of exercises Falun Gong for their organs.
Relevant factors relevant to reporting which would be addressed would be the speed at which the mass killings occur, attempts by the perpetrators of cover up, the propaganda of the perpetrators, the nature of the available evidence, the manner in which the genocide is inflicted, the awareness that the global community has of the victim community, media access, the interests that outsiders may have in not confronting the perpetrators, the ability of the victim community to mobilize, the sympathy that outsiders may have for the ideology of the perpetrators, the determination where the onus lies, the availability of eye witness testimony, the tendency to engage in false symmetry between the perpetrators and the victims and different shades of commitment or indifference by outsiders. The general conclusion will be, through considering the specific instances mentioned, that variation in these factors explain the difference in media reporting.
David Matas, University of Manitoba, Canada