The June 15 editorial "Kosovo and Sierra Leone" asked if that one reason America didn't pay attention to the war in Sierra Leone was because the victims were black. But the real reason we didn't pay attention to the war was because your paper didn't pay attention to the war. Other than a few blurbs in the World Briefs section and one or two mid-length articles over the past several years, your paper was totally lacking in in-depth coverage of Sierra Leone's civil war, its origins and the horrendous atrocities being committed while America looked the other way.

Why did your paper decide not to devote, page for page, photo for photo, equal coverage to both Sierra Leone and Kosovo? Were the victims in Kosovo more important than the victims in Sierra Leone? If so, who decided and on what criteria?

While I hesitate to give your paper too much credit for leading public opinion, for many people, it may be the only news source of the day. When America doesn't know about something, it is in large part because the media have chosen not to cover it.

Now may be an excellent time for your paper to examine how race played a part in its own coverage of the war in Sierra Leone and to do some soul searching about its own policy regarding events in nonwhite countries.

-- Matthew Murgua