Compassion Fatigue: How the Media Sell Disease, Famine, War and Death

By Susan D. Moeller

First released in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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Forty three it was once a page-one story,” joked former overseas correspondent Tom Palmer. you furthermore may needed to placed the GNP of the rustic into that formulation. “For example, if it’s Japan, that cuts the mileage in part. ”44 extra easily, acknowledged Ted Koppel, “The toward domestic trouble moves, the much more likely it truly is to get recognition. ” place. position. position. “It’s no longer a lot the development as the place it’s happening,” acknowledged the Journal’s diplomatic correspondent Robert Greenberger. forty five “I swear to you,” acknowledged his colleague, Walt Mossberg, “this applies to the entire newspapers, a few extra, a few much less. Is it a spot americans find out about? shuttle to? Have relations in? Have company in? Is the army going there? You’re not likely to get on web page one with anything approximately Bangladesh approximately up to you do with anything approximately a few state the place your readers have a few form of connection. ”46 within the crisis-prone yr of 1991, with little left within the until and with the slicing of tv information department budgets, Koppel stated, the networks, particularly, couldn’t find the money for to hide the entire mess ups that happened faraway from domestic. in order that they selected chauvinistically. The media don’t inevitably hide crises “on the foundation of ways many of us are involved,” stated Koppel. The allocation of assets is set on grounds except the sheer variety of these in danger. “It turns into a question of yank involvement,” acknowledged Koppel. “I could argue the explanation we’re concentrating on [the Kurds] is that there are nonetheless loads of americans concerned over there. ” nationwide safeguard pursuits and the direct involvement of american citizens trump the numbers. “That’s not just a political or financial truth, it’s a human one. We 22 lll COMPASSION FATIGUE are inclined to care such a lot approximately these closest to us, such a lot like us. We care approximately people with whom we establish. “One little lady trapped on the backside of a Texas good had the total kingdom retaining its breath,” he stated in the beginning of a Nightline software. “The plight of Kurdish refugees in Iraq has a minimum of engaged our curiosity. yet hundreds of thousands ravenous in Africa, as many as 25 thousand drowned in Bangladesh, over 1,000 killed by means of cholera in Peru slightly get our realization. Why? ”47 Columnist Barbara Ehrenreich, of Time journal, spoke back Koppel bluntly at the comparable convey with a brand new issue. Race concerns. “If there have been a few million blond, blue-eyed humans dealing with hunger someplace, i feel the media insurance will be so excessive we’d comprehend their names by way of this time. We’d see them as participants. ” The Chicago Tribune led a 1990 article approximately americans’ loss of curiosity in overseas insurance with this anecdote: “At a meeting of 3rd international viewers right here [in Washington, D. C. ] lately, an African stood to invite a query of columnist James J. Kilpatrick. ‘Why is it that American reporters don’t care approximately my nation? ’ the African requested. ‘What nation do you come back from, sir? ’ Kilpatrick spoke back. ‘Uganda,’ the guy replied. ‘Why the hell may still I care approximately Uganda? ’ stated Kilpatrick, as diplomats round the room wheezed and struggled to seize their breaths.

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