Non-Traditional Web-based Media

In February 2014, Buzzfeed published an article describing the expulsion of Doctors Without Borders from the Myanmar.

Earlier in the semester I wrote about the restricted access to the Rakhine state, where there is a large Muslim population, as well as Buddhist radicalism towards Muslims. This article further describes the persecution that Muslims face. It begins with brief background information about the situation. It describes how Doctors Without Borders is the largest health care provider in the Rakhine State, and treats tens of thousands of Muslims displaced by sectarian and ethnic violence. The apparent reason behind the expulsion of Doctors Without Borders is because it showed bias toward the Rohingya minority, and prioritized care of Rohingyas over Buddhists. The article continues into a listicle format that is not actually numbered, but it consists of sequential concrete facts about the conflict.

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 3.21.11 PM

Compared to traditional media coverage there are more images. The numerous pictures make the article appear to be quite lengthy but there is actually not a great deal of writing. It is mostly the 10 large pictures that give it this appearance. The article is also less story like, it consists of short concise facts that give the reader a brief but comprehensible idea of the situation. Within the article there are hyperlinks that lead to traditional news sources such as BBC and NPR. The traditional news sources, such as the BBC, contains facts about government policies that are not included in the Buzzfeed article. However, the Buzzfeed article also contains information that was not part of the BBC article and the Buzzfeed article seems a bit more emotional.

Impartiality is less present within this article then there may be in a traditional news source. It is fairly obvious that the article is criticizing the Myanmar government for its decision. There also seems to be subtle support for the Rohingya Muslims present within the article. Examples of facts in the article are: “Myanmar insists that the country’s 1.3 million Rohingya live in the country illegally, despite the fact that many have been living there for generations” & “The government has denied almost all Rohingya citizenship and basic freedoms, including to movement, healthcare, and religion. Thousands have tried to flee to nearby Thailand and Indonesia, mainly by boat, to escape the cycle of revenge and violence.”

rohingya boat

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