In 2010, 140,000 children aged under five died in Bangladesh. If the country had the same mortality rate (pdf) as the UK, only around 15,000 would have done so. This implies that around 125,000 Bangladeshi children die each year from poverty.
This fact, however, does not feature prominently in nightly news bulletins, even though it is equivalent to two Rana Plaza collapses every week.
There is, of course a simple reason for this. The news reports abnormal events, not normal ones; "dog bites man" is not news. Collapsing buildings are abnormal and so newsworthy whilst acute poverty is normal and so isn't news.
This bias is inherent in the nature of news. And yet it can be misleading. You cannot understand why so many Bangladeshis tolerate working in sweatshops until you realize that doing so gives their children not just a better chance in life, but a better chance of life. Thanks in part to the economic development brough by those sweatshops, child mortality in Bangladesh has fallen.
However, news reports which draw attention to the evils of sweatshops but not to those of rural poverty understate the benefits which such sweatshops have brought. Yes, they're hellholes which perhaps could and should be improved upon - but they're better than the alternative.
In this sense, news generates a bias amongst its western consumers; it encourages a hostility to globalization and industrialization even though these are - albeit imperfect - routes out of poverty.
There's a parallel here with attitudes towards crime reporting. It's a commonplace that whilst crime has fallen in recent years, the fear of it hasn't. A big reason for this, I suspect, is that violent crime - being abnormal - gets reported whilst folks living safely, being normal, does not. Ordinary reporting thus warps our perspective.
You cannot reasonably judge a probability distribution merely by looking at the far tail of it. But this is what the news invites us to do.
There's another relevant bias here. Whilst under-reporting deaths from rural poverty the news is full of the doings of the rich and powerful. This too can have pernicious unintended effects. Laboratory experiments (pdf) have found that the mere act of communicating with others can induce them to behave more altruistically towards us. This implies that we are likely to be better-disposed towards the rich and powerful than we otherwise would be, and less well-disposed to the silent poverty-stricken billions. This too generates a bias towards tolerating poverty.
I say all this as a caveat to a common complaint. Everyone complains - with justification - about bad, right-wing, dumbed-down linkbait journalism. But even when journalists are doing their jobs well, they are contributing to some unpleasant biases, by the very nature of what constitutes news. You cannot, rationally, base your political opinions in what your see in the news.