Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Real Story?

I think the way the media reports the news is sensationalistic and not always reflective of reality. (I know; stop the presses). Whenever a major disaster occurs in Haiti—hurricanes, school collapses, political upheaval—the country gets a little bit of ink in the newspaper and a few seconds of time on TV. Of course, this isn’t unique to Haiti. News all over the world is reported in this manner. We seem entranced by disasters while the more fundamental issues that create our world and affect us profoundly go unreported.

So when the school collapse in Haiti was widely reported last week with a death count approaching 90, I wondered the following things: how many children in Haiti died that day of malnutrition or diarrhea? How many died from malaria or typhoid fever? Of tuberculosis or HIV? What are the reasons Haiti is such a poor country? What are the policies and practices that keep them mired in a failed state status? Why don’t many people have access to clean water? How is the foreign aid that goes to Haiti spent? What are the well to do Haitians doing—or not doing—to make Haiti a more humane place? What are the stories of all the people who live in those two room cinder block houses across from the collapsed school?

Where is the reporting on these kinds of questions?

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