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Titanic sub coverage contrasted with media's disinterest in Greek boat disaster

Netizens are comparing how mainstream media prioritised coverage of the lost submersible over the recent Greek shipwreck, where hundreds are still unaccounted for
The Titan submarine which disappeared on Sunday has grabbed headlines over the past few days (Screengrab/Twitter)

Social media users have criticised mainstream media for what they say is a marked disparity in the coverage of last week’s deadly shipwreck in the Mediterranean and the missing Titanic-exploring submarine.

Titan, the submersible which was on an expedition to view Titanic wreckage in the Atlantic Ocean, has dominated headlines since the vessel went missing on Sunday.

Major news outlets have carried round-the-clock reporting, live blogs, explainers, and background information about the five people onboard. 

As social media users went to post messages of sympathy, prayers or informational articles about the sub, many on Twitter and Facebook were quick to point out the difference in public sympathies, accusing news outlets of hypocrisy for their relative “silence” about a boat carrying an estimated 750 people, which sank last week. 

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Others have pointed out the disparity in the wealth of the individuals aboard the sub and the fishing trawler that capsized off the coast of Greece.

One user said that the difference in media coverage represented a “de facto message” that “global south migrants dying at sea is normal, billionaires dying at sea is a tragedy”. 

Each ticket for the deep-dive expedition cost $250,000, according to the company's website. Meanwhile, the majority of the passengers on the trawler were reportedly from Egypt, Syria and Pakistan, countries which are experiencing war or deteriorating social and economic situations. 

Twitter users also expressed dismay at the disparity between rescue efforts in the two disasters, as international, public and private bodies came together for an enormous search and rescue mission for the Titan.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said the shipwreck could be the second-deadliest disaster ever recorded in the Mediterranean, with more than 80 people reported dead so far. The exact number is unconfirmed but as many as 500 people, including at least 100 children, are believed to be missing.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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