Here at GetReligion we're constantly going on about the sources journalists rely upon when reporting religion stories. We keep asking, for instance, why religious liberals are the only voices quoted in stories critical of this or that traditionalist position.
One reason for this is Kellerism, the GetReligion term for when editors at a news outlet decide that it only needs to quote one side in a debate because the other side is simply on the wrong side of history or is flat out wrong.
However, there are many other times when appropriate positions are missing simply because journalists do not know they exist or how to find them.
That’s the case with Buddhist views on the goings on in Myanmar, where Rohingya Muslims are being harshly persecuted and forced to seek safety in neighboring, and Muslim, Bangladesh. Even the presence of a Nobel Peace Prize winner as Myanmar’s ostensible leader has not helped the Rohingya minority.
Why? Because Myanmar’s overwhelming Buddhist majority simply has little sympathy for its Muslim neighbors.
Surely, though, there must be some Buddhist leaders who are more sympathetic and who can be contacted for a quote or two that expresses another Buddhist viewpoint? Or do we have to make do with global political leaders and humanitarian groups for comments critical of Myanmar’s handling of the situation, as has generally been the case.
No, we don't. #JournalismMatters
Still, other than the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader that Western journalists, in particular, seem to think speaks for all Buddhists everywhere, prominent Buddhist voices are generally absent from the many stories being produced about the plight of the Rohingyas.