There has been debate about whether Boko Haram has been covered adequately in the US or not. The short answer is no. If you are asking who Boko Haram is, then my point is proven. . It is in fact a brutally savage jihadist terrorist group, aligned with ISIS.
You have no doubt heard about the massacre of cartoonist at Charlie Hebdo and shoppers at a kosher supermarket in Paris. You may or may not have heard of the Baga massacre that happened about the same time. The massacre killed over 2,000 people; however, the government claimed the figure was much lower, under 200. It kidnaped 276 girls from school in April 2014, sparking outrage, but little action. Thousands have been killed. Exact numbers vary, but it is between 7,000 and 10,000. 1,500,000 have been displaced and the extremist terror group controls an area the size of North Dakota. It seeks to impose an Islamic state in Nigeria. Boko Haram roughly means Western education is forbidden; however, its own followers have difficulty following the rules that it wants to impose on others.
Nigeria is a nation of about 174,000,000 people located on West Africa. It is the largest nation by population in Africa. Its size is about 2x the size of California. Nigeria is a former British colony that has a federal system similar to the US. There are 36 states with a Federal Capital Territory of Abuja located in the center of the nation. The nation is almost evenly divided between Christians in (mostly) in the south and Muslims in (mostly) the north. Sharia law is in force in the northern states. Abuja lies at the intersection between the two religions. Despite its oil wealth, the development is not even throughout the nation. Oil is located mostly in the south, and development has been primarily in the south.
The north severely lags far behind the south in development. The northeast, where Boko Haram has carried out attacks and controls territory, is particularly remote. Religious strife is ever present. Northern Muslims feel disenfranchised because the oil wealth is concentrated in the Christian south. Christians in the north have felt marginalized after the introduction of sharia law. Riots and bombings have occurred, killing scores on each side of the religious divided. In 2002, riots occurred in across Nigeria because the Miss World beauty contest was held in Abuja, setting off riots because some Muslims felt the contest was blasphemous.
So, why hasn’t it been covered? The answer is a little more complex. It has been covered, but not extensively. You did not see live coverage in northeast Nigeria. But why is this? Was it racism? The answer is no. Even the Sowetan, a black owned newspaper in Soweto, South Africa offered scant coverage.
The answer has to do with geography. Boko Haram controls a large swath of land in a region where the borders of 4 nations intersect. Getting there is not easy. There is one direct flight from New York to Lagos, on an airline that many would rather not fly. From there, a connecting flight to Gombe is the logical choice. Then it is on treacherous roads in northern Nigeria. The Nigerian central government has weak influence in the area. Corruption is rampant. The defense forces, unable to stop the insurgency, can offer little help, particularly to foreign journalists who are attractive kidnapping targets.
In contrast, Paris is a direct flight from several US cities. In contrast to remote Nigeria, Paris is controlled by the central government. The chances of kidnapping are remote. If we look at current events in Yemen, we see a similar story. There are few reporters in Yemen. The scenes are the same scenes, no matter the news organization, and any reporters that report are not reporting from the street, instead, they report via Skype from the safety of their hotel rooms. The beheadings of journalists by ISIS in Syria have had a chilling effect on journalists covering areas near the control of jihadist groups.