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The world was watching as Ferguson reacted to the grand jury’s decision

Protests dominated news around the globe.


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Posted on Nov 25, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 3:28 am CDT

The world watched Monday night’s riots in Ferguson, Mo., following a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Michael Brown.

Journalists from the U.K. to China, from Russia to Qatar, have descended upon the Missouri city to broadcast the story to the world.

In their home countries, international media are looking at Ferguson from different perspectives.

In Russia, straight news coverage carried a tinge of nationalist rhetoric.

In Russia, the leader of Russia’s lower legislative chamber essentially said that the U.S. deserved the situation in Ferguson because of how it treated the rest of the world.

Chinese media covered Ferguson closely. However, when asked about events in Ferguson, Chinese authorities stayed silent.

It can be difficult to understand the rhyme and reason behind what China does. After all, leaders in that country have criticized American domestic policy numerous times before. Why not now? One theory is that unrest in Ferguson mirrors the violent ethnic tensions in China’s own Xinjiang region between Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese.

Yomiuri Shimbun

Yomiuri Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper with the world’s largest circulation, gave the Ferguson grand jury decision and subsequent riots front-page coverage. The headline describes a “mob of residents repulsed” by the lack of indictment.


Bild, Germany’s biggest newspaper, covered Ferguson closely and rightfully declared the riot-torn city to be “in flames.”

Major German newspaper Die Zeit led with the headline “It’s not right!,” sympathizing with protester’s outrage at the grand jury’s decision. In Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, reporters referenced burning cars as “sweet grapes of wrath.”

Illustration by Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Nov 25, 2014, 8:42 am CST