In addition to his book, Virgil Hawkins created a blog on the topic of Stealth Conflicts. It is a great addition of up to date info and data on these conflicts (and maybe a way to publish materials that did not make it into the book). For instance, compare these two maps which neatly illustrate the issue of ‘chosen’ versus ‘stealth’ conflicts:
This one is a map based on the level of conflict-related mortality by continent from 1990 to 2007:
And this one which sizes up conflicts by continents based on their coverage by CNN:
Obviously, Africa, which is overwhelmingly dominant in the first map, shrinks to a small fraction of its size in the CNN map whereas the Middle East, Europe and the Americas grow disproportionately. This explains why the bombing of Gaza, as horrendous as it is, got wall-to-wall coverage these past days (you can thank the Governor of Illinois’s chutzpah for the current distraction) while persistent conflicts in the DRC remains largely uncovered despite the very recent massacre of more than a hundred people by the LRA, an organization that, I think, is way worse than the Hamas… but that’s just me.
The contrast between the maps also explains why conflicts in the former Yugoslavia got enormous media coverage while conflicts that took place almost at the same time (such as the genocide in Rwanda) got much more limited attention despite lower mortality.
Among the factors that account for such discrepancies: nationalism and capacity to identify with the victims, political interests, presence of media agencies and bureaus in affected countries, race to the bottom as competition in the Western media, possibility of simplifying the conflict to fit into a neat moral narrative with innocent victims and evildoers.