Two front pages from yesterday’s newspapers


You wold have thought that for once, just once, the Daily Star could have knocked the norks of the front page? The Independent’s done a lot of these sort of framed editorial things recently, on Ken Bigley, Margaret Hassan and other Iraq-tastrophes.

Newsnight asked some interesting questions last night, [watch here] about what could be called ‘grief event horizon’. Guest Frank Furedi made some good points too, that the public gets swept up in these events, Dunblaine, Soham, Diana etc, by the media. He went on ‘..To be a moral responsible individual you have to give more money than someone else… there’s a sense of competitiveness as we face moral confusion… the only time we come together as a people are when we’re facing tragedy, a tragic death or disaster..’ Food for thought indeed. So maybe it’s because so many of us have been to Thailand on holiday, that it’s sort of ‘second world’ and that the disaster was sudden and unstoppable, and that there seems an easy way out, rebuilding and such, rather than having to face a disaster caused by 20 years of civil war and that’ll take 20 years to put right…

The report focused on previous appeals. Stats quoted: emergency appeal for Chechnya raised $40 a head. The floods in Mozambique was only 15% met, raising 40 Cents a head. In contrast the money pledge so far, some 2 billion dollars, means $400 a head for the 5 million people affected in Asia. Another worry now is that the tsunami will take the focus off Africa. On the plus side the other guest said British people give 7.6 billion to charities a year, and that 10% of that goes overseas.

So perhaps this would be a best outcome; If the International Community and people of the World can respond this quickly and with this much will, determination and aid to this disaster, why not keep the momentum going and focus on some of the other problems around the World?


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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
January 2005
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