Friday, 31 December 2004

Charity & Media Attention

As the enormity of the devastation caused by the great slosh of the Indian Ocean unfolds, the world looks on in horror, while many respond with their pocketbooks or their service to the impacted shorelines. This story IS getting the attention it deserves, displacing the inanities that usually get top billing on the local TV news. I still remember the last such enormous tragedy, the 1991 typhoon in Bangladesh, which must have received much less attention, as I've been surprised by how few remember it today. Though the death toll of 138,000 was comparable, the devastation was confined primarily to Bangladesh, which likely contributed to its having received less attention.

Recognizing that tragedies need a response regardless of how much media attention they receive, for my own donation to Mercy Corps I chose the "Where Most Needed" category, allowing the organization to funnel the money to Sudan, for instance, if the overwhelming response to the tsunami has left it or other tsunami-unrelated efforts underfunded.

Journalist Mathew Maavak, near the scene of the tragedy in Southern India, gives a mixture of on scene reporting and insightful reflections in its aftermath. His home page also accidentally pointed me to the writing of David Brin, who another friend coincidentally had just been telling me about in the previous week. But that's fodder for another post.

1 comment:

-epm said...

I just wanted to say, "Welcome back." I've missed your words.

Please keep feeding my mind.