reply to post by Screwed
While I agree that we recieve far more information about disaster events than we used to, you also have to remember that in some of these cases, they
are being reported more widely than they used to be. Flooding and volcano eruptions are dime a dozen. They happen all the time. But crucialy they are
reported on more these days, and I posit that there are several reasons for this.
The first reason is, that since computing and media has become wireless, and images can be sent in HD from point to point with no massive limitations
involved, this has meant far more flexibility and maneouvreability in terms of where you can and cannot report from, send video from and so on. The
availability of videographic or photographic pieces where news reporting is concerned has increased, and so more of these disasters are reported on,
because its increasingly easy for shots to be aquired of floods , and volcanic eruptions, and the moment earthquakes strike, and the devastation
caused by Tsunami and other natural disasters. The easier the video and pictographic data comes into a news broadcaster or publisher, the more likely
they are to create a bulletin about it. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions happen far more frequently than they are reported on. Its not as if every
tornado season the BBC sits in Tornado Alley for three or four months waiting for something to happen. Instead they usualy wait it out, and see what
happens, collecting and compiling localy sourced video and photographs IF a human interest story breaks to illustrate any possible story they may
decide to run on the issue.
Second, the western ecconomies are having it pretty hard right now, what with the banking crisis, the recession that we are out of, but seem to be in
danger of sliding back into, bankers bonuses, and the like. When times are as tough as they are, and are going to get tougher, one of the ways that
governments like to use to keep people focused on the positive points of life, is to remind them how much worse off they could be. Yeah sure the banks
are foreclosing on your house, and you are being evicted by burly chaps in overalls , but at least you havent got lungs full of BURNING LAVA !
Now, naive people amongst us will shout " But wait, arent media outlets independantly owned, run, and free from political bias or control ?? Dont
they run stories that the government dont want told ??" Well ,to those of you who genuinely believe that, I advise to look beyond the stories run,
and the outward intention of editors and reporters alike, and really observe the sociological effects of the stories that are run over the course of
two decades, and see what you think then. Im not going to explain it to you, you have to look for yourself to get the idea , but the gist is they can
be owned as independantly as they like, but in terms of lack of bias or political control? They arent as free as people would love to think. So to
summarise my point, reportage is biased in terms of what is happening in the land which it is published in, and that goes to what stories run and
which do not, as well as how they are spun, and what the tone of the article may be.
Third point. Reportage on disasters and natural phenomena has increased markedly over the last little while because people are hungry for it. People
love spectacle, are addicted to events of great wonderment or importance. Imagine you are sitting in a doctors office, and the news is on. You will
listen to the pundits prattling about GDP, and the representatives of government whining about how much of a mess they are in, and the campaigners
from civillian groups shouting to be heard above the ceaseless drunken blabbering of various fat men in suits, and the average person will pay only
minimal attention to this noise, and these figures on the TV.
But when there are explosions, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, large scale industrial accidents, and floods, people turn thier heads and pay
attention! That is because these spectacles are the sort which make the imagination fire, the sort of stories which make peoples fear responses kick
in, and slightly raise the levels of attention that are payed to the TV , at least for the duration of the piece.
Some people go as far as to only buy a paper, when there has been a massive disaster or catastrophy , like a war, or a flood or something of that
gravitas. This may seem odd to you and me, because friends, this is a site for people who like to keep abreast of the news, and are often ahead of the
BBC on picking up on a story (for instance, the BBC news channel showed only yesterday a piece on the work of scientists in rewinding the aging
process in mice. This story was here on ATS quite some time ago, but only just got air time on BBC).
In short ,our relatively up to the miniute idea of remaining informed, is not the same idea that many folks have of keeping abreast of current
affairs. Most people couldnt , in thier worst nightmares imagine the amount of terrible, awful things that happen in a year, be they political,
martial, natural or technological. We are therefore exposed far more often to news which most folks wont even hear. This can give the impression that
more is happening. I do not think its accurate to assume this, rather I believe that we simply have better access to fresh information , than we did
before our membership of this site came about.
I was a total news freak since about age five. Its always been one of my favourite shows (and then when BBC news 24 happened, channels) . Even so, I
found my access to information massively increased when I joined this site in '07 . It has become apparant since , that disaster reporting is more
prevalent when there is a dire circumstance close at hand in the nation in which a story will be published.