Pakistan Flooding Coverage

Johnny - posted on 09/02/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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I have observed that the media, television, internet & print, have all been giving quite scant coverage to the horrific flooding that is destroying Pakistan. At this point 20 million people are homeless, a quarter of the country is or has been under water, and 1700 are dead. This is a disaster at least comparable to the Haitian earthquake, and yet we barely see coverage on the nightly news. Anderson Cooper is definitely NOT "on-the-ground" there. I'm wondering why? Is it simply too far away and easy to forget about? Is it because they are "the enemy" harboring the Taliban and supporting terrorists? Is it because they are predominantly Islamic and there is a great deal of antipathy towards Islam in the west? I can not see what other reason there would be for the low level of discussion and coverage of this catastrophe. Just about the only 'celeb' I've seen paying attention to it is Angelina Jolie, I mean, where's Sean Penn when you need him? Seriously, why the double standard?

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Mary - posted on 09/03/2010

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You're right Dana, and I did a little exploring to see if there was anything about WHY media coverage of this is so sparse...and really found nothing. I vaguely recall seing something about the Pakistani's restrictive access for media outlets (in general) possibly affecting this, but I cannot, for the life of me, remember where I saw it.

One of the most interesting things I found in this article was the suggestion that "THe slow moving nature of floods, combined with typicall lower death tolls, removes a sense of urgency...." Although this quote was in reference to donors, I'm not sure it doesn't have a similar impact on the media's perspective of it's importance. While sad, I guess it's less "sensational" than all of the bodies and catastrophic and sudden damage inflicted by earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis.

I also think the point brought up in the article about "cultural and religious affinity" applies to media coverage in countries where the Islamic religion is in the (feared/mistrusted) minority.

Johnny - posted on 09/02/2010

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The loss of the gulf shrimp harvest is criminal, but hardly comparable to the loss of livelihoods, homes, communities, schools, etc for 20 million people.

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Janessa - posted on 09/04/2010

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Heather excuse me did you know that America had a strong hold in Hati for 30 years? so they owe us they through out good leaders like Jean-Bertrand Aristide

who is good to the people in haiti. We love him and hope for his return he has great ideas for haiti but the american government keeps having step down like a coupe. American as in the government did it that is one reason why haiti struggles. We have a history with america they did not acknowledge haiti as a country for along time because majority are black only 10% are mulatto that is another reason haiti struggle it is not just american government who did this it is the french and the canadians also. In america they are more Haitians mostly in the east coast, flordia and lousinia has allot of haitian descent of course canada. We speak french and creole and we are catholic like many americans are and many americans adopt kids from haiti and we do not spend money on nuclear power like paskistan does except maybe the rich haitians might get the hands on the money which i really hope they do not. I feel bad for the pakistan people but they are not friendly as in they government. All this i have wrote in put in stone history and i know my haitian history and i would be glad to share with anyone.

Heather - posted on 09/03/2010

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Pakistan not only has restricted coverage of media, but they are also a huge stong hold for the Taliban. It does predjudice people against donating. Not that I think it's right. I think it would benifit our country much more donate to Pakistan than to Haiti. At least we could put a posative influence in there and help our cause in Afghanistan.(I know this sounds insensative, but I'm looking at this from a government standpoint, not a personal one)

Rosie - posted on 09/03/2010

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one reason has to be that they are middle eastern. we associate middle eastern with terrorists so hence no sympathy for the poor terrorists.

we are so back assward in this country i swear.

although alot of tragedies aren't played by the media the way they should be. our flooding here in iowa 2 years ago got some media coverage, but i doubt that the rest of the country grasps that it is one of this countries most costliest natural disasters, behind katrina and i think hurricaine andrew. maybe the people aren't making a big deal of it in pakistan? kindof like the earthquake in chili (i think it was chili)? sorry can't remember, but it was i think more powerful than the one in haiti and it happened like a month after, but they didn't want thelp so you barely heard about it.

[deleted account]

Thanks for the article, Mary. While I think it lends some great logic as to why people aren't donating, I don't necessarily think it sheds any light on the lack of media coverage. I suppose the reasons could be one in the same?!

My intial thought about the lack of media coverage is the perception of Pakistan and it's strong association with terrorism.

Tara - posted on 09/03/2010

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I agree, trying to find current information in print, tv and radio media is daunting. I believe that this apathetic attitude stems from the fact that Pakistan is not a friendly, has no resources that the US currently seek and is in no way diplomatically connected to the US with regards to the economy.
So....no coverage = smaller donations going to Pakistan = weakening of an already fragile system.
Intentional disregard is my opinion.

Amie - posted on 09/02/2010

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You know I haven't thought about this since I first saw it in the paper. I swore I read that the flooding was worse then the earthquake in haiti though. I'll have to look for it in the morning.

Either way, no matter the reason, it's bogus that it's not being reported on better. There's rain boots in every store around here asking for donations to help. Makes me wonder how many people actually know what they're donating for.

Johnny - posted on 09/02/2010

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I suppose, but just imagine for a moment that this tragedy had occurred in Brazil. I can not see that there would not be at least twice as much coverage dedicated to it. And the perspective of the news media is very skewed. Last week, they played it alongside coverage of flooding in China and portrayed them in similar fashion. The flooding in China was severe and heartbreaking, but not even close in any way to the scale of what is happening to Pakistan. While there were far far more deaths in the Boxing Day Indian Ocean tsunami, the loss of homes, towns, and villages has been more than 10 fold.

Isobel - posted on 09/02/2010

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sad...but honestly, each tragedy has had less and less coverage. It's all heartbreaking.

Isobel - posted on 09/02/2010

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Tsunami,Katrina, Earthquake in China, Haiti, Nashville floods, Gulf Oil spill, Pakistan, man oh man...it just keeps ooooon comin'

Iris - posted on 09/02/2010

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I haven't seen it over here, but I saw it when I watched the Icelandic news..

Isobel - posted on 09/02/2010

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Because we are exhausted from tragedy...honestly...there is only so much we can take.

Charlie - posted on 09/02/2010

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I dont know Sharon it seems to have been largely over looked in Australia too , i dont know why especially when the front cover all week has been some actor douchbag who bashed his girlfriend , surely the flood is more important than that IMO there was a TINY slip of news on it in the paper about a baby born in the filth left over who is now starving because the mother has little to no milk , that was about it .

Sharon - posted on 09/02/2010

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I think they decided to stick with the bigger "tragedy" our gulf oil spill and obamas' handling of it.



In light of the ruined lives and seedy BP trying to fool americans (whatever) this news story will resonate more with americans.



The flooding is tragic and we should have more coverage of it, better coverage of it, but in light of us americans potentially missing out on this years shrimp harvest (thank you bubba gump) this tragedy is obviously a much bigger deal.



I seriously doubt it has a damned thing to with islam.



edited to add a full half a sentence. stupid tiny ass typing screen. FUCK YOU COMS.

Johnny - posted on 09/02/2010

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I'd guess the level of reporting in the UK might reflect the number of people living in the UK of Pakistani origins. Here, there are a few, but certainly not compared to what I saw in London and some other major UK centres.

[deleted account]

I was in the UK when the floods happened and there was good coverage over there. To my knowlede the UK has been the biggest donator so far. Unfortunately I've not seen much coverage in the states since I've been back. That might be due to the fact that more time has passed, but I suspect there is a double standard on the reporting in some countries.

Charlie - posted on 09/02/2010

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Ive barely seen any coverage and i watch the news all the time , its sad that people are being ignored for whatever reason , we are all human , no one race or religion deserves better treatment over another .

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