Cyclone Sidr never happened

Or did it? My local Indian restaurant reminded me of the tragedy. There will be a charity dinner this weekend. Because it was a big disaster. Apparently.

I had totally forgotten about it. Which is bizar for a cyclone, named Sidr, that killed 3,300 people, left millions homeless and wiped out fifteen villages, infrastructure and crops.

Bangladesh has appealed for 2.2 billion dollars in aid. So where are we, the media, to keep this story on the front page and at the top of the news bulletins?

We are nowhere to be found.

I ‘news googled’ the tragedy and mainly stumbled upon stories from the wire services. Then I went to YouTube and searched for dramatic pictures. Al-Jazeera jumped out.

New media journalism is so simple nowadays, isn’t it? If it’s on YouTube, if millions are watching it, if people on social networks keep passing it on, it’s gotta be good, so it will be news eventually.

It’s like the CNN Factor from ages ago. If CNN is there, then it must be important. That’s how Africa stayed on the agenda and world leaders couldn’t hide behind the argument ‘we didn’t know’.

I’m afraid cyclone Sidr did not only do a devastating job, but the little bastard was also successful in hiding the story from the rest of the world.

Or maybe we just didn’t look hard enough. After all, there were no tourists with their mobile phone hanging out on the beach, doing our job.

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2 Responses to “Cyclone Sidr never happened”

  1. Marko Says:

    Hmmm… The BBC had a crew, coincidentally, on a sailing boat present and i’ve heard many stories on the World Service.

    Maybe it’s got something to do with the sad fact that every year Bangladesh is flooding and that every year there is a cyclone havocing the area. And if something happens often, as a news fact it degrades.

  2. overdiek Says:

    I was mainly commenting on the aftermath, just the first media response. Although I remember certain desperation with flown in reporters who couldn’t find victims and hit areas. We’re only a couple of weeks further along, and it’s pretty quiet. That’s what I meant. Point being, does the lack of ‘exciting’ video, showing the disaster happening as it is happening, degrade the news value, or at least the attention span?

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