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May 4th, 2014
12:03 PM ET

Undercovered: Nigeria’s kidnapped schoolgirls

In the video above, CNN's Vladimir Duthiers joins Brian Stelter from Lagos, Nigeria to discuss the relative dearth of media coverage of a mass kidnapping in Nigeria.

Here's some of what Duthiers said:

Remember that, when people are attuned to an image or attuned to a story, for example, the South Korea ferry disaster or the Malaysia Air 370 disaster, there are images.

There is video. You have a dramatic rescue at sea. You have the tilting ship. You have family members that are crying and talking to the reporters, wanting to get the word out as to what they're going through, what they're experiencing.

And when that happens, people around the world can relate. They see those images, they hear those voices, and they are there. They are there with the reporters learning about the story as the reporters learn about it.

In Nigeria - in Africa, but specifically in Nigeria - there are a lot of challenges when it comes to reporting a story like this. This has happened in a part of the country that is very remote. There are challenges in getting signals there.

We, as journalists, cannot go to this area. The area where this occurred is considered a Boko Haram stronghold. Boko Haram is this Islamist terror group that has been accused of kidnapping these girls. To go into that part of Nigeria is very risky, indeed.

So we can't bring images of the parents talking about their daughters. We can't bring images even of the young girls that have gone missing, because the government has been very, very... close-guarded when it comes to releasing the names or images of these young girls.

So there's nothing for people to grasp onto. And print reporters have been doing this story, The New York Times, the U.K. Guardian, but, still, when you are not able to talk to those people, when you don't have those voices, we don't have those images, it's just hard for people to relate.

I think now, as the social media campaign has begun, the story really is simple. You don't really need all those images. You just have to imagine you are a parent. You send your kid to school. In the middle of the night, in their dormitory, they are abducted, and you never hear from them - or you haven't heard from them in two weeks. Any mother, any parent, anybody with a heart listening to that story will now start to understand what it is that these people are going through.


Filed under: Reliable Sources • Undercovered
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