THE BLOG

Foreign Media Coverage of Kurdish Conflicts Must Change

02/12/2014 11:27 GMT | Updated 30/01/2015 10:59 GMT

The Kurdish people have lived under different political establishments, none of which has led to independence. Modern day Kurdistan reaches across four sovereign states (Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria) yet still manages to inhibit an acknowledged ethnic community. Which is impressive, considering Kurdistan's history - suppressed acts of resistance, and betrayal by foreign entities.

Foreign and regional media outlets have extended their coverage to Kurdish affairs only when it relates to the onslaught of ISIS militiamen in Syria, which you can read about here, and gain insight into here.

These outlets completely ignore the ongoing internal issues the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) faces with Iraq's central government, currently headed by Haider al-abadi or the ongoing political suppression of pro-Kurdish parties in Turkey, increased intimidation of activists in Iran, often leading to executions, not to mention the Kurdish situation in Syria.

The media coverage of Kurds is limited, fixated on time-relevant issues, and because Kurds have largely failed to "tap" into mainstream media outlets, particularly those based in Middle East, there's abundant misinformation on issues that actually matter to them on the larger scale.

Unfortunately, the current coverage of Kurdistan focuses on an angle that media outlets like to spin - Kurdish female fighters, badass warriors waging war against a notorious terror group that want to backtrack the entire Middle East to the dark ages, where people would still use leaves as toiletries.

But here's the actual problem in Middle East for Kurdish people, lack of transparent entities that actually support the Kurdish struggle for autonomy, independence and recognition. More importantly, the lack of accountability for countries that do not necessarily extend a supporting hand to ISIS, but a blind eye to them (you can read more about that here).

If there's sufficient shame and hype within media outlets, surely that would lead to reverse policy-change because increasingly studies are showing a direct correlation between social media outlets and policy-making on a governmental and non-governmental level.

Politics aside, there's an inherent problem with how Kurdish people are portrayed in the media, subsequently perceived by political institutions. When an entire nation is laid out in sensationalist titles that bare half-arsed arguments, poorly constructed, there's an actual problem in need of rectification.