Monday, October 17, 2005

Diasaster Fatigue

In the past one year, this part of the planet has had its fair share of disasters - from the Tsunami to the recent Earthquake. The world too, has seen lots of disasters through the year from Hurricane Katrina to the ongoing mess in Iraq. But with the gradual slowdown of coverage since the Tsunami - everywhere - TV, Print and Online (including Blogs) made me wonder if the malaise in the general public, which one agency reported was suffering from 'charity fatigue' has spread into the media. After all, how many disasters can a media outlet cover. The December 26 Tsunami was rather unique in the sense that it ithousands of people across tens of countries, the floods in Mumbai on July 26 brought a major city to its knees, New Orleans was wiped off the map and then (to borrow Jon Stewart's phrase) there is Mess'O Potamia.
The rather patchy coverage of the Kashmir earthquake has me a bit puzzled. I don't know what News Editors thought when told there was another quake last Saturday, some at least those in Delhi would have been rattled out of bed and wondered 'Not Again'. How much can you report? After all, with Lalu's shennanigans in full flow in Bihar, an earthquake was the last thing most editors needed. And just the day before, the Supreme Court had come down heavily on Buta Singh. Divided between Bihar and Kashmir what would you do? But surprisingly, the near lack of action by Indian bloggers has me a bit surprised as well. Are we all too caught up in an argument about a small-time B-School or do we also suffer from 'Disaster Fatigue'?
After the brilliant work done by the Indian media, especially print media during the Tsunami and the Mumbai floods, the incident in Kashmir seems to have passed under our radar. Everybody's radar. Even though it seems that the two national magazines are trying to save the face of the media on the whole.
On other notes, I removed the statement on the request of the person who originally recieved the statement because they didn't want to get into any trouble. I have also disabled anonymous comments because of some rather inane and frankly stupid comments by idiots which I am supposed to be scared of. Even though the national media is picking up the IIPM vs Bloggers story, I would suggest that we put the matter on the backburner (but not off the flame, mind you!).
Some links for you people who made it all the way here.
The latest UNDP Human Development Report.
Disturbing doodles? I don't know - but they ain't safe at work!
The stuff they edit out of Wikipedia! Phunnie!

- classic -

In its natural state, Coca-Cola is docile until attacked, when it will spray sweet liquid on the predator. It has many foes, such as:

  • Teens
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Movie-goers

Yet it is often found and eaten. It does many things to protect itself. It may 'accidentally' tip over when frightened, or disguise itself as the less popular Pepsi or Dr. Pepper. Still, even with its most creative attempts, its foes still find it.

In the wild, it stays in packs of 5-23 other cans. Sadly, many packs have been taken into captivity, where rings are put tightly around their middles and the cans are put into boxes. They are then sold to people who take them to houses, where they will not be fed or allowed to roam around.

See Also:

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Plus, I have a cold and could do with a cup of nice, hot tea. I mean a nice, hot cup of non-Nestle-fied tea.

5 comments:

thalassa_mikra said...

K, I don't think "disaster fatigue" is a broad trend for all times to come. But at present, the media does seem to be overwhelmed by the rapid succession of disasters.

However, there are blogs that have been set up to coordinate the Kashmir relief efforts, both by Indians and Pakistanis. At least a glance at NDTV coverage seems to indicate that they are still on the issue. Certainly much much more can be done.

thalassa_mikra said...

PS: What is Nestlefied tea?

K said...

Nestle machine tea

Shivangi said...

Strange, was talking about it with a friend a few days back. This whole disaster coverage is quite a drain. For the viewers/readers i mean. Ths 'fatigue' is also pretty evident in the way the Bihar elections are being covered... especially in newspapers. Of course there is the fact that there isn't any news besides the quake. But under normal circumstances, Bihar would've been the top story. It really isn't simply because people are tired of it...

K said...

Its also a drain on journalists - after all how much suffering can you report about. Once upon a time there used to be only the occasional disaster and news was far more local. However, the Kashmir earthquake has been given short shrift by the international media because after Katrina and Iraq they don't have the time to cover anything else.