There would have been a scramble for all media outlets to finds a reporter to begin immediate coverage. Never mind experience or credentials, a live feed and a body would have worked until the cable networks had teams on the ground.
The network graphics team would have immediately put up a map to educate everyone where this remote part of the world is for those who never heard of the country.
Google Earth would have been the go to tool until more feeds from the obscure reporter became part of the cycle for the first full day.
Network bookers would have been frantically looking for experts, real and not so real, to discuss probable causes of the why the girls, like the passengers, went missing. The first round of experts would have been to dissect if a terrorists were behind the disappearance. Military experts would sound the alarm that such a thing could happen in name-the-country and the names of terrorists who might be responsible would have been given an in depth storyline within the first few hours. Although the plane did not go missing in U.S., updates from the state department would have been part of the initial coverage. In the case of the missing 234 Nigerian school girls, they were taken by terrorists, Boko Haram, but there has not been an endless cycle of military experts on the networks telling us about this militia and if there are possible cells in the U.S.
|Believed to Leader of Boko Haram|
Now if the 234 missing Nigerian school girls were a missing Malaysian plane with 239 passengers, Pentagon experts would had weighed in with a hastily assembled press conference. All networks would be on standby throughout the day waiting for any information, accurate or hearsay. With the eyes of the world on the operators of MH 370 and the government at a press conference, officials would want to show their concern and that are doing everything feasible to find out what happened. Network anchors would want to track what is trending on social media to make sure they are asking the questions the world want to hear answered. The tragic news of the missing would be shared and mourned by a worldwide audience.
|Missing Malaysian Plane Press Conference|
|UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa Region, Manuel Fontaine speaks about kidnapped Nigerian Girls|
Because of a worldwide audience, prayerfully, other countries, near and far, would have helped search for the missing Nigerian school girls if they were missing passengers on a Malaysian plane. Countries would have searched their radar to see if "something" crucial may have been overlooked. The U.S. and other countries would have searched through thousands of terrorists emails for any 'chatter' relating to the incident that may have taken place in prior months. The Nigerian school girls fate and the pain of their families would have been felt. Interviews with families would start to become part of the news cycle. The anguish of parents, spouses, children would have been embedded in the stories as expert after expert continue to give gloom mixed with hope. The viewing audience would have wondered if the missing suffered. The possibility of being of alive would be discussed over and over. Special hash tags for special news segments would have part of the plane coverage by the networks. Prayers would have been openly spoken by anchors as they moved from one topic to the next relating to the 234 missing girls if they were the 239 missing passengers.
If the missing Nigerian school girls were passengers on a missing Malaysian Plane, the need to know what happened to them would have been 24 hour coverage within the first few days. The media's appetite would have been feed by the teams of reporters camped out in hotels (or a remote desert shanty) waiting to report anything. Anything. Cutaway after cutaway to report the smallest detail about the missing would have been part of every news segment. Ships would have poured into roughest seas on earth. Scientist would have shared their knowledge about the depths of the sea. An African desert, like the Indian Ocean, is extremely dangerous. The networks could have filled hours educating the public on geographical boundaries of the desert and how long someone could survive in the heat as they continue to apply pressure from the lens of the world on the government to continue to search for the missing. Planes, private and government, would have flown over barren landscapes as if they were large bodies of water looking for any sign of life. "Show and tell" would have been part of the coverage by allowing cameras to capture every angle of the most advanced technology gear in the scientific community being used to find pieces of the plane, or in the case of the missing Nigerian school girls, evidence that the militia who took them are camped out in the brush in the desert.
As the days of searching turned into weeks, investigative reporters would have researched the background of the missing Nigerien school girls if they were missing passengers on a Malaysian plane. The media would have shined the spotlight about previous abductions of girls from schools in Nigeria. Reporters would have landed in small rural villages to interview the villagers with stories of the brutality of men who would do anything to stop women and girls from being educated. Those stories collectively is what happens in remote communities when first world countries look the other way while lawlessness becomes the law of the land. The eyes of the world would have turned to the UN for them to answer why world leaders are not held accountable for the systemic destruction of people by extremists. The around the clock media coverage would have exposed repeated patterns of atrocities when young women, world wide, seek education for themselves to not only have a chance at a better life but to help change the lives of their fellowman.
If the missing Nigerian school girls had been passengers on a missing Malaysian plane, the urgency to find the pings from the black box before the batteries die would have take center stage. The pings, like the Nigerian school girls' cries from being ravished by monsters, would have been analyzed by manufactures and reporting from a flight simulator would be the lead story every hour on the hour. In the case of the missing Nigerian school girls, women who have escaped the horrors of being kidnapped from schools and forced into a life of slavery would have replaced the engineers from manufacturers of the black box. Their stories of repeated rapes and abuse would have caused millions to want find evil and cut it out. The experts would have been women like Marcia Dyson whose mission in life is to help women become independent and thriving in their communities. Social media change agents like Luvvie would have added insight to the conversation surrounding the missing the girls. Networks that preach empowerment of women would have owned this story.
Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinskif, author of Knowing Your Value, could have been an expert on how the devaluation of women in the marketplace has roots in how women are treated around the world. Ariana Huffington, who is traveling the country promoting Thrive, could have shared about women pulling themselves up by the boot straps and shown that economic empowerment lectures are not for the educated Ivy League but for women are in a league of their own trying to defend their rights to learn to read and write. CNN, host of CNN Heroes could have easily booked Heroes like, Kakenya Ntaiva, Laurel Stachel, Razia Jan, Jason Kaguri (to name a few) who are live their lives defending social justice, educating women and girls, fighting to end global poverty, and who have risked their own lives to stop sex trafficking of children.
|"Knowing Your Value" Author Mika Brezinskif||(Being Devalued)|
If the missing Nigerian school girls had been passengers on a missing Malaysian Plane, the lens of the world would have demanded to know why the government is not more transparent in sharing information with the public and the families of the missing. The Malaysian Prime Minister's press briefings about the missing passengers were often times spotty and details were deliberately left out Likewise, Nigeria's leaders were initially vague on the information regarding the missing school girls. Both governments concerns for the lives of the missing have come under fire. And rightly so.
Every child is precious. What happens to one, happens to all of us.
The 234 Nigerian school girls were kidnapped on April 14, 2014 and the world has just begun to show concern. The lives of the Nigerian school girls are being mourned as well. They are still alive. We should want to find them and bring them home to their families. The men who terrorizes women and children who seek a better life by wanting to learn to read should be hunted down and brought to justice right away. What happened to the Nigerian school girls should haunt us and we should desperately want to find answers to help put an end to these atrocities that continue around the world. May we continue to pray for the girls return.
Photo credits: The Guardian, Reuters, Vanity Fair, Color of Change, CNN, Getty, AP