We consider how the U.S. news media reports on international affairs. Analyzing ≈40 million news articles published between 2010 and 2020, we explore whether the American news media report differently on various international affairs topics based on partisan leanings. We then analyze ≈25 million articles published by top online news sites to determine whether collective reporting shows disparities between the level of attention afforded major global issues and objective measures of their human costs (e.g. numbers of individuals killed). We find that left- and right-leaning news outlets tend to report on international affairs at similar rates but differ significantly in their likelihood of referencing particular issues. We find further strong evidence that the frequency of reporting on the international issues we study tracks only modestly with their associated human costs. Given evidence U.S. public and policymakers dependence on news reports for foreign affairs information, our findings raise fundamental questions about the influence of these reporting biases.