Almigdad Mojalli. January 17, 2016. NFL Playoffs.
Zahir al-Shurqat. April 12, 2016. Dancing with the Stars.
Khaled Eissa. June 25, 2016. “Famous” by Kanye West.
The names above belong to journalists who were reporting in Yemen, Turkey and Syria, respectively. The dates are those of their deaths. The phrases following each date are what Americans were talking about online the day these reporters were killed.
These three men are among the journalists who died covering the news Americans did not read.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an organization that has investigated and verified the deaths of journalists since 1992, 49 journalists or media workers have been killed in 2016. Nearly seven in 10 of those killed this year were covering war.
Mr. Mojalli was covering Saudi Arabia-led military action in Yemen for Voice of America when he was killed by an airstrike. Mr. Al-Shurqat reported on the Syrian civil war for Aleppo Today. A member of ISIS executed him in Turkey. Mr. Eissa died from injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device. He was covering Syria too.
News organizations promote stories about conflict or human suffering. The pieces have front-page treatment and are shared on social media. Yet, these stories about Mosul, Juba or Aden are often drowned out by other content, reasons to love Game of Thrones or hot takes on Kanye West’s “Famous.” Many news reports are published to more or less just sell digital advertising space, and there's nothing wrong with knowing 12 ways to keep your closet organized.