Journalist Kim Dozier discussed the importance of foreign affairs news coverage during lecture
CNN Global Affairs Analyst Kim Dozier discussed the importance of foreign affairs news coverage in a lecture co-sponsored by The Media School on Jan. 31. The lecture, titled “When Washington, D.C. turns away, aka be careful what you wish for,” examined why U.S. news coverage in the Middle East waxes and wanes.
The lecture examined why U.S. news coverage on conflict in the Middle East has dwindled down over the past couple of years. Dozier’s experience covering conflict in the Middle East, Israel-Palestine, and Iraq has given her an informed approach to foreign policy analysis.
She claimed that foreign affairs news coverage is driven by the perception of danger. Since the U.S. completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, she said the Middle East is no longer viewed as a direct threat to the American public.
“We as a species are programmed to pay attention to danger to ourselves,” Dozier said. “Another perception of danger could move those stories back up to the top.”
She said Americans moved on quickly after U.S. troops left Afghanistan, but that she personally knows Americans still stuck in the area.
Dozier also explained how Russia’s declaration of war on Ukraine shifted foreign affairs news coverage away from the Middle East because Americans perceive Russian president Vladimir Putin as a threat to the U.S. Although this conflict is newsworthy, she said she doesn’t want people to forget all that has happened in the Middle East.
In the lecture, Dozier also discussed how costly and dangerous foreign affairs news coverage can be. She said she understands why news reporters are driven to cover conflicts the U.S. public finds most threatening.
“News researchers have to chase the crisis and do so judiciously,” Dozier said.
Dozier went on to explain how even the White House seems to have lost interest in the Middle East, as she said she perceives Biden as being more concerned with mass shootings, legal threats to American rights, and the threat of another pandemic.
Although foreign affairs news coverage on the Middle East and foreign policy is not a priority right now, Dozier said she hopes the American public doesn’t lose interest in conflicts happening there.
“Until you care, Washington will be paying the minimum attention and news organizations will follow,” she said.
The event was sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Middle East and co-sponsored by The Media School, the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, the Department of Political Science, and Center for the Study of Global Change.