…this story, of one of the richest countries in minerals and natural resources (Democratic Republic of Congo) who has seen up to ten million of its people killed while Western companies and foreign governments help themselves to Congo’s treasures, is unworthy of even the faintest of mention. Coupled with a 2010 UN report that found Rwanda guilty of serious war crimes, resource exploitation, and even went so far as to suggest that what Rwanda did in Congo was genocide, Simons’ silence is even more troubling.
In Simons’ defense, she is not alone. The New York Times — as a whole — has provided very poor coverage of the recent UN report. They have only published one article—”Congo: Rwanda Tied to Rebels“—consisting of 90 words, where they describe rebels as being “aided by neighboring Rwanda.” There is no mention of the extent of the “aid,” or how the U.S. used its power in the Security Council to try and derail the release of the 2012 UN report.
How this squares with the Times’ slogan of “all the news fit to print” is a mystery. Elsewhere it can be noted that it is Rwanda who is fuelling the conflict in Congo, not Joseph Kony, or Thomas Lubanga, or Bosco Ntaganda, but the U.S-backed Rwanda. But the New York Times finds such an important story unworthy of attention, cropping it to less than one hundred words, and burying it in the back of its paper.
The New York Times pattern of focusing on real, imagined, or inflated crimes of “enemies” while ignoring the U.S. and its allies raises serious questions about the Times as a media institution. Is it an impartial news source informing the general public with journalistic integrity, or is it a public relations firm manipulating the opinions of the general public in service of the prevailing economic and political power systems?