Monday, September 13, 2010

The news-life of a natural disaster

"The media are most attracted to volcano eruptions and earthquakes and pay the least attention to food shortages and droughts ... for every person killed in an earthquake, almost 337 have to die in floods to receive the same expected news coverage.

Also instrumental in relief response is the distance decay factor, which implies that disasters unfolding closer to the United States would receive more coverage than those unfolding farther away... a disaster in Asia would require 43 times as many dead as in a disaster in Europe to have the chance of news coverage. Thus, for the American news media, 43 Asian lives equal one dead in Europe."

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