Tsunami-Time for a Change?

Tsunami Coverage

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Ok I appreciate I am about to be harangued mercilessly for being an insensetive Tw@t but...............is anyone else getting fed up with the constant mawkish reporting of the nearly 14 day old natural event that took 150,000 lives?

I do understand that a large number of people died and very tragic it is but.......................is it really the only thing to have happened and does it justify the first 30 mins of every news broadcast? even more so when they are able to only produce new graphics not new news.

7 Spam soldiers were killed in one incident on the 6 Jan........I heard not a jot until I flicked through newsnow.co.uk. Personally I think that after £100 mill was raised in the UK alone surely the Tsunami can afford to give way to other news?

The death of the 7 soldiers and the Bradley was covered on News 24 LWM.

I know what you mean about familiarity breeding contempt. However, I'm happy for the BBC to keep banging on about the Tsunami, more importantly , the effects on Sri Lanka, until this Government pulls it's finger out.
Im with you LWM. I feel it's just another 'food wagon' the media can use to sell air time. Its a case of which media station can appear to be looking the most sincere, most sad, most saddening, heartfelt 'personal tragedy' story. All this actually achieves is desensitising the public as eventually joe public will get bored of the coverage and flick over to Celeb Big Brother retard prog. I think the media is responsible for giving the average joe in the street the attention span of a goldfish.

After all something like this is actually easy journo stuff and requires very little in the way of finding a story. Point camera at devastation, cut to crying orphan, cut to trench full of body bags. 'Psuedo sincere journo doing his bit to camera'.
Unfortuntunatly one of the main reasons i feel they are keeping this in the news, is not only to keep the public on side of parting from its cash for the disaster, but also because as soon as the news starts to die down a bit some other knob jockey from parliment/Celb/Geek/Egghead comes out with a quote from somewhere so they have to give you all the back round information AGAIN on it.

I feel sorry for the people out there for what has happend. But i do know if it had happened to me, i would welcome the aid. but not the Jouno's shoving cameras in my face for a quote every five mins about how 5 generations of my family had disappeared.

I understand what you are saying about there is other news going on in the world that should be reported, But as soon as the Tsunami story starts taking second place to other stories then the public will start to loose intrest very rapidly , then will stop donating. Sad but true.

Incidently Has anyone else heard the rumour that some Urban bands are making a record to raise money for the appeal?
One news channel PTP and after how long of special coverage..................what more do you lot want....................

Interest payments on Debt suspended-Good

£100 million in charitable donations from this country alone-Good+chance for self congrats all round

But is there any new, news eminating from these countries?....for fecks sake ...............it happened 2 weeks ago even Phuket has moved on and has cleaned up the beaches.
I want it kept in the news until Blair admits he let Commonwealth partners down.

Is there a reason why the Foreign Secretary is dragging his damn feet to get there?


Cherie Blair - the prime minister's wife - praised the British public's response to the disaster during a visit to a Save the Children charity shop on Friday.

Speaking at the shop in Clapham, south London, where she donated bags full of toys, she said: "The response has been fantastic. I would urge the public to continue to donate."
I'm sure we agree with the First La.... ooops Mrs. Blair.

Bags full of Toys? Big old thumbs up to the person that hasn't listened to the Aid Agencies immediate needs.

LWM - http://news.google.co.uk/news?hl=en&lr=&tab=wn&ie=UTF-8&q=Bradley+fighting+vehicle&btnG=Search+News

That lists where tje Bradley IFV story has been since release this morning.
Bags full of Toys
Nice to see this govenment has its finger on the Pulse.

So what are we gonna see next on the news> People from affected regions walking around with Pokemon puppets on there heads?
We should demand that Cherie the wide mouthed frog goes over to the area. We could use a gob like that to fend any further big waves off. Seriously, if TFTB wants a better opinion poll, he should tell her to get her soggy arrse over there and do a 'hearts and minds' op.
Thanks for the link PTP.....................I noticed that the majority were US media outlets :wink:

Not much news here really...........Pregnant mother of 5 and expecting twins stabbed to death in the street.

Damilola Murder case -new lines and 3 arrests.
horrible tragic event but i'm with you 100% on the fact its lazy journalism and there are other newsworthy stories. keep it in the news, yes, but to give almost entire news programmes over to it is a little much even for me.
what grips my p*ss even more however, is the charity single! why these celebs, boy george, cliff richards et al can't simply donate money, rather than recording a single which the general public will then go out and buy.... ie donating more than they already have, and lets face it, i doubt theres a single person left thats not given at least a few pence. donate some money, oh and give a few old singers a bit of a higher profile and make them feel good about doing something, and us, the buying public will spend more! i for one won't be buying it, and not out of me being a tight fecker, because everytime i have a spare few pence, quid or whatever, its been going into charity boxes on top of the fact i'm involved in something else. its self serving and call me a cynic if you want, its really gotten up my nose
sorry, i went a little off topic i know :oops:
let us not forget that the BBC now is so chummy wiht TBLiar after he broke its backbone, that any chance to distract us from the true state-of-affairs of this country is jumped on and reported to death :evil:
dui-lai said:

let us not forget that the BBC now is so chummy wiht TBLiar after he broke its backbone, that any chance to distract us from the true state-of-affairs of this country is jumped on and reported to death
A tad bit self absorbed ain't we mate?

Letterwritingman said:
One news channel PTP and after how long of special coverage..................what more do you lot want....................

Interest payments on Debt suspended-Good

£100 million in charitable donations from this country alone-Good+chance for self congrats all round

But is there any new, news eminating from these countries?....for fecks sake ...............it happened 2 weeks ago even Phuket has moved on and has cleaned up the beaches.
Don't know, I reckon it still is a very big story. As Flash pointed out yesterday, it is the largerst British loss of life in a single incident since 1945, probably by a factor of three or four, and that's ignoring the local tragedy. 7000 extra bods found yesterday (or the day before) during rubble clearing in one town alone. It is an ongoing story, and in the terms of casualties is getting bigger everyday.

If the media were dropping it now we would be among the first to criticise them for only being interested in the dramatic bits. In terms of the relief programme and fundraising it's now that counts, to keep people alive in the medium term.

That's not to say of course that the media and the politicos won't squeeze the whole sad story for every drop of pathos and advantage. :(
WEATHERMAN1956 said:
dui-lai said:

let us not forget that the BBC now is so chummy wiht TBLiar after he broke its backbone, that any chance to distract us from the true state-of-affairs of this country is jumped on and reported to death
A tad bit self absorbed ain't we mate?

Uhhh... No I don't think he is.

When this has all settled down a bit more (and it invariably will) we'll find out just what the politicians have been up to while media interest was elsewhere.

You a new labour fan then? :wink:
Totally over the top, hundreds of millions given already, Now most people have forgotten about stuff like Band Aid 20 (Sh1t single good cause!), millions starving in places like Ethiopia, Africa and all the trouble in places like Sudan.
I think the government are glad there's something deflecting attention from them.
The media need to keep focused on the finer detail of what is actually happening in terms of reconstruction and must avoid the temptation to rely on human interest death/survival tales as space fillers.

This story will gradually fade and in a few months it is likely that normal service will resume, the funding will dry up (if the amouts pledged are actually paid out, which never happens) and we will be back to our good old exploitative and short-sighted ways, with millions of people set back by two or three decades.
And the BBC has even been entertaining conspiracy theories that the spams somehow caused the tsunami:

see: http://biased-bbc.blogspot.com (no permalinking, so reproduced below):

Thursday, January 06, 2005
Natalie Solent
# When has it become the BBC's mission to spread innuendo and conspiracy theories? That was the first line of an email from a reader. He or she then directed me to this:
"Why did US base escape tsunami?" http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/4149637.stm
After outlining a current conspiracy theory about the tsunami mysteriously sparing the US base in Diego Garcia, the BBC article says:
Is America a power for good or ill in the world? Was there a malign hand at work, or has America's role in the crisis in fact been a model of humanitarian leadership.
Let us know what you think. Is this just anti-US sentiment on the web or something more worrying?

You can read and send us your views from this page.

Contemptible. And now a public service announcement: have you remembered to pay your licence fee? This webpage will enable you to give £121 to the BBC, as you are legally obliged to do, with the minimum of inconvenience. Avoid any unpleasantness by paying now. Remember that the BBC relies on its "unique system of funding" in order to fulfil its vision of becoming "the most creative, trusted organisation in the world." Come to think of it, why not pay twice? Then perhaps the the BBC might favour us with yet more internet conspiracy theories presented as neutral topics for discussion. I don't think we've had the 4,000 Israelis or Operation Monarch yet.
The published comments were a mixture. There were some sceptical voices, but the usual run of earnest semi-literate cultists also jumped in. David Moore asks:

"Could it have been an attempt by the Neo-Conservative Christian Right to let set off an atom bomb, in order, to open the gates of hell and put out the flames with the water."
Own up. Which one of you was it?
Friday, January 07, 2005
Natalie Solent
# You can't pass on dirt and keep your hands clean. Sleep on it, they say. Sleep on it and you'll feel calmer in the morning. I did and I don't. Yes, I'm talking about the BBC peddling conspiracy theories about Diego Garcia and the tsunami again. Again because I find it more disturbing the more I think about it, and because I have a few more links to add. Actually, this is going to tie into one of the most heartfelt complaints against the BBC: its reluctance to use the word "terrorist".
To recap:

The British Broadcasting Corporation, funded by the British taxpayer considers it an open question whether, ten days ago, between one hundred thousand and a quarter of a million people were at best deliberately not saved or at worst murdered by the United States Government.

You think I'm exaggerating? Read the BBC story again. "Or was some malign hand at work..." If that "malign hand" does not mean either that the Americans started the tsunami and by some devilish means made it circumvent this island (strange and costly mercy amid such vast ruthlessness!) or warned their own servicemen while deliberately leaving others, including American tourists, to die, then what does it mean?

The British Broadcasting Corporation, funded by the British taxpayer, publicises this proposition and invites its millions of online readers worldwide to debate it in a non-judgemental fashion.

The British Broadcasting Corporation, funded by the British taxpayer, declines to give an opinion as to whether these rumours are true.

Many of those readers, both from the West and the East, are uneducated scientifically. Many of them are living in countries and cultures where paranoid conspiracy theories about the Americans and/or the Jews are common currency (even more than they are in certain left-wing circles here in the UK.) Many of them move in circles where the wish to kill an American or many Americans in revenge for this colossal crime which, they are told by their neighbours and their own newspapers, the US has perpetrated on their people need not remain a fantasy.

"Why did mother die, father?"
"Because of the Americans, my son. Some say they let off an atom bomb under the sea. Others only that they knew a great wave was coming but left us to die while warning their own people."
"My teacher says that's propaganda. For all that they are foreigners, for many years we have known that the BBC is more trustworthy than the papers here. We should see what the people at the BBC say."
"Even the BBC dare not deny it."
Rumours like this have started race riots, pogroms and even wars. Once started they go on for decades. There is no more fertile soil for terrorism than a sense of historical grievance. Fifteen years from now I expect young men now children to be blowing up aeroplanes because they grew up believing that hundreds of thousands of their co-religionists were killed by the Great Satan. The BBC will have played a part in that.
(And if it wasn't yet obvious to you that it is all rubbish, if you are inclined to take literally the splendidly sarcastic first comment to the previous post from Bob Gleason, "As a Yank, I want to confirm that the U.S. military can, indeed, start a tsunami at will, but then have it go around any installations we might have in its path. My tax dollars at work. Damn, we're good!", ask yourself why, if the Yanks can and would do that, did they waste their time directing their tsunami at Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. Why not North Korea? There are lots of earthquakes in the Sea of Japan to work from. There was one Thursday before last.

You might also take a look at a new blog I found via our referrer logs, Shadow Chaser. The author, Michael Gill, has up two posts about all this, here and here.

Mr Gill points out more BBC misinformation. This BBC story about the effect of the tsunami on Somalia says

The small Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia - home to a US naval base - escaped unharmed as it was forewarned by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii.
This account from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association does not say anything about the reason for Diego Garcia escaping unharmed being that it was forewarned. It merely says that the US Navy at Diego Garcia reported to the US Navy Pacific Command at 8.20pm Hawaiian Standard Time that it had not observed the tsunami then.
And as Mr Gill says, Diego Garcia scarcely needed a warning from Hawaii, as the tsunami had hit the shores of Thailand and Indonesia hours before it reached Diego Garcia. Look at the animation of the tsunami he links to. Diego Garcia is that dot in the bottom left corner. (Strictly speaking that dot must be the whole Chagos Archipelago group of islands, of which DG is one. It's at 6.34S, 72.24E if you want to use the latitude and longitude scales at the side.)

It's a damn shame that nothing like the Pacific warning system was in place in the Indian Ocean. Those NOAA guys seem to have tried, but - "I'm a scientist! Get me the President of Indonesia!" Sorry, the world doesn't work that way. Or it didn't ten days ago when tsunamis were considered rare in the Indian Ocean; it might today. The fact is that a monitoring station in the wrong bloody ocean which was never set up to work outside its area was never going to be able do that much. The systems were not set up. Tsunamis move at 500mph. Sad, very sad. Not evidence of a malign hand.

So how does a conspiracy theory about the tsunami link into use of the word "terrorist"?

The answer to this is tied into the answer to another set of questions: What is the BBC for? Why do we have to pay for it?

Recently in an effort to be more accountable the BBC instituted Newswatch. This Newswatch story about why the BBC will not refer to ETA members as terrorists confirmed what many here already knew: that the BBC's policy is to admit the existence of something called "terrorism" in general but not to ever call anyone terrorists, even if they are admitted to have carried out what the same writer, Matt Holder, calls "atrocities". Presumably the outburst of uses by the BBC of the word "terrorist" applied to specific individuals at Beslan, commented upon in this blog, was in violation of those rules. Here is the reason Matt Holder gives for the policy:

It [the BBC] avoids labels wherever it can. And its credibility is severely undermined if international audiences think they can detect a bias for or against any of those involved.
Actually that isn't what credibility means. You have credibility when people think you are truthful, not when you successfully conceal from them what you think good or bad.
The only reason why we should care about the credibility of the BBC; why our society should see it as enough of a Good Thing to pay for it out of a particularly unpopular hypothecated tax, is that the credibility of the BBC provides some social good.

The social goods that the BBC claims to provide are ensuring people are well informed (an ideal that rests on the proposition that truth in itself is good) and making people better citizens - that is more peaceable, more tolerant, more law-abiding, better able to participate in society. Oh, and in so far as the non-UK audience is being considered, less likely to kill Britishers.

No media service, not even a privately-funded one, should be indifferent to these kind of values. A tax-funded media service in a democracy cannot be, unless it wishes to deny its own justification for existence. Don't kid yourself. All public broadcasting is ultimately advocacy.

If truth in itself matters, then you don't abuse your position of trust to pass on a known and dangerous lie, pretending that your hands are clean so long as you don't actually endorse it. That is what the BBC did in spreading the tsunami conspiracy theory.

On to the T-word: if the maintenance of liberal values in Britain and the world matters, that objective being what the BBC claims it is for, then you don't play neutral to the most basic liberal value of all, the right to continue living without being blown up at random. If neutrality is possible or desirable, why is the BBC not neutral about ordinary British murders? Or about rape, or theft, or racial attacks or any of the other crimes that disfigure the body politic? Some section of our own British audience - quite a large section if the BBC is to be believed - cheers on racist attacks and presumably objects to any bias against those involved. Why does the BBC not strive to maintain its "credibility" with them?

Because, and never mind the name of this blog, in that sense it has no business being unbiased.

What is the BBC saving up its credibility for anyway? The mere pleasure of contemplating the high regard in which it is held? The BBC audience figures are no concern of mine. If the BBC is striving to keep that segment of its international audience that thinks it OK to take children hostage and shoot them comfortable with its beliefs then would that the figures were lower! The basic reason for me, the taxpayer, wishing for you, the BBC, to be trusted is so that you can change that sort of thinking. So that when there is an important truth you must convey you are believed. So that when it it is necessary to save lives you can say, "this rumour is not true" and they'll take it from you, because you are truthful.
It is worth pointing out, as Private Eye does, that the threat to Diego Garcia from rising sea levels was quoted by the Foreign Office as a barrier to any permanent settlement there, thus precluding the right-to-return of the former islanders decanted in the 1960s to make way for the base.

This was used to justify a Privy Council ruling overturning a High Court decision allowing the return of the former islanders, yet another use of Bliar's prerogative powers exercised at the behest of Dubya.

Wonder what the FO will say to the relative safety of Diego Garcia now? Mind you, the facts have often not inconvenienced the FO in the past!
After watching the news coverage of the Aceh area, I could not help but wonder how much invaluable payload and space has been taken up on board the relief ops helicopters, as a result of ferrying around Journos, Film crews and Grand-standing Politicians.. :roll:

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