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Tuesday, 13 July 2010

When a series of bombings struck London's transport system in 2005 we were overwhelmed with media coverage. Thousands of pictures and millions of words were generated, disseminated, and mulled over by reporters and the commentariat in Australia. The evening news was even interrupted when information first started to filter through from London, where it was still morning.

But our attention is selective and biased, as coverage of the bombings in Kampala, Uganda, yesterday attest. Very little is available in the Australian media. Despite the fact that Australian soldiers are still stationed in Afghanistan to combat terrorism, we are seemingly not at all concerned by the Uganda blasts. Or, at least, the well-informed editors of our newspapers believe they are not important enough to warrant front-page coverage.

Possibly more than 74 people were killed in Kampala yesterday. In London, the death toll was 52, with over 700 injured. It is still too early to know how many were injured in Kampala, but no doubt the count will be high with the second attack taking place at a bar where people were sitting outside watching the World Cup final game on a large-screen TV.

The first attack took place at an Ethiopian restaurant. Both attacks have been claimed by a Somali militia group, al-Shaabab.

Pic credit: Charlie Shoemaker/EPA.

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