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WhiteElephant
28-12-2004, 11:35 AM
Is it just me or is does the news coverage of the Asian quake/ tsunami seem staged and uninformative?

This is one of the major events which has happened during my lifetime and we have been getting:

1) Sporadic updates when the 911 disaster was getting 24 hour coverage, and the death count is at least 5 times higher.

2) Sensationalised pictures of bodies with droning, weepy music in the background . How about some information what is the extent of the damage to villages, property, what is being planned in the way of relief, etc.

3) Focus on the handful of Australians killed/ injured WHAT ABOUT THE 20,000 LOCAL INHABITANTS KILLED FORGET ABOUT EM.

Spiny Norman
28-12-2004, 11:42 AM
WHAT ABOUT THE 20,000 LOCAL INHABITANTS KILLED FORGET ABOUT EM.

Its a bit like if Cpl. Jones from Dad's Army were providing the coverage ... 5 Australians lost ... and a few fuzzy-wuzzies.

Its a horrendous situation. I've had to turn the TV off at some points as I can't bear to watch it. Too gruesome.

WhiteElephant
28-12-2004, 11:54 AM
I wonder why the 911 disaster was getting so much more coverage - could it be that due to our political and economic ties with the US, they are deemed to be more important and newsworthy?

Trent Parker
28-12-2004, 01:40 PM
To tell the truth i was watching the news last night and i have already heard enough of it. It's too sad. I am glad that there is not 24hr coverage.

Come to think of it i got pretty sick of the 911 coverage as well......

WhiteElephant
28-12-2004, 01:44 PM
To tell the truth i was watching the news last night and i have already heard enough of it. It's too sad. I am glad that there is not 24hr coverage.

Come to think of it i got pretty sick of the 911 coverage as well......

When I watch it I get depressed too. I would prefer it to be more fact-based rather than trying to elicit as much emotion as possible.

Stewart Diver anyone....

Alan Shore
28-12-2004, 03:46 PM
Its a bit like if Cpl. Jones from Dad's Army were providing the coverage ... 5 Australians lost ... and a few fuzzy-wuzzies.

'You kill one, it is a tragedy. You kill ten million, it is a statistic.' - Joseph Stalin

Spiny Norman
28-12-2004, 04:05 PM
'You kill one, it is a tragedy. You kill ten million, it is a statistic.' - Joseph Stalin

Gee, did he really say that? What a brute! :(

WhiteElephant
28-12-2004, 04:17 PM
'You kill one, it is a tragedy. You kill ten million, it is a statistic.' - Joseph Stalin

That reminds me of Hitler's: 'The bigger the lie, the more likely it is that it will be believed.'

antichrist
28-12-2004, 04:43 PM
That reminds me of Hitler's: 'The bigger the lie, the more likely it is that it will be believed.'

Religions are a perfect example of this.

I have been led to believe that this is an ancient Arab saying.

Libby
28-12-2004, 05:01 PM
I wonder why the 911 disaster was getting so much more coverage - could it be that due to our political and economic ties with the US, they are deemed to be more important and newsworthy?

Try a comparison with the millions who die in Africa with war, aids, hunger etc or even the thousands of anonymous, civilian Iraquis. Substitute "anonymous" with "not quite like us" or "not someone you'll see on Friends" for why we don't care in the same way. Or why the media would make you believe we don't care in the same way.

I always find it disconcerting how they can skip from the Tsunami (or similar tragedy) to the Boxing Day Test and suburban squabbling over dustbin collections in barely a blink on the "Today" show or news bulletins.

WhiteElephant
28-12-2004, 05:11 PM
I always find it disconcerting how they can skip from the Tsunami (or similar tragedy) to the Boxing Day Test and suburban squabbling over dustbin collections in barely a blink on the "Today" show or news bulletins.

I noticed this yesterday...the newsreader had his serious face on when reporting on the Tsunami, then went straight into a huge smile when a human interest story came up.

As an aside, when I was living in the Ukraine, the news always started with the latest International stories, which took up most of the news hour, followed by local news to finish up. In Australia, unfortunately, we often don't get much World News at all unless it is: Dame Edna Makes it Big in Hollywood or something like that.

Libby
28-12-2004, 05:17 PM
I noticed this yesterday...the newsreader had his serious face on when reporting on the Tsunami, then went straight into a huge smile when a human interest story came up.

As an aside, when I was living in the Ukraine, the news always started with the latest International stories, which took up most of the news hour, followed by local news to finish up. In Australia, unfortunately, we often don't get much World News at all unless it is: Dame Edna Makes it Big in Hollywood or something like that.

SBS is a little better, amazing how much more can be happening in the world when you change channels.

I fear something like the US news services becoming the norm. You know - not in our country (or not somewhere we want to bomb etc) - not on the news.

It's the same trend with the news that took over current affairs programming. Not much current affairs or analysis but lots of Paris Hilton, detergent comparisons and blatant cross-promotion of the "family" media product.

Rincewind
28-12-2004, 05:20 PM
What's the problem? The media are not about reporting the truth, let alone balance. Anyone with that ideal left the industry years ago. They have a product to sell and will "report" any story that sells. 9/11, Bali "sold". Civil wars that have gone on for 20 years in Africa, gonig on for another year, doesn't sell. Australia winning a test series (if they do it) does sell well.

Natural disasters (as a rule) don't sell well unless they occur in an industrialised (and preferably western) country.

The other thing they lack is pictures. The same amatuer videos will get pretty old pretty fast so what are you going to show? Nervous relatives waiting for word on loved ones? With eleven still missing there will be some of those, but hardly 24x7 quantity of footage to show, even if they wanted to.

arosar
28-12-2004, 05:24 PM
What's the problem?

Exactly!

Earthquake struck. Tsunami. Flood. Thousands died. Many missing. Aid relief en route.

What else is there to know?

AR

Libby
28-12-2004, 05:31 PM
What's the problem? The media are not about reporting the truth, let alone balance. Anyone with that ideal left the industry years ago. They have a product to sell and will "report" any story that sells. 9/11, Bali "sold". Civil wars that have gone on for 20 years in Africa, gonig on for another year, doesn't sell. Australia winning a test series (if they do it) does sell well.

Natural disasters (as a rule) don't sell well unless they occur in an industrialised (and preferably western) country.

The other thing they lack is pictures. The same amatuer videos will get pretty old pretty fast so what are you going to show? Nervous relatives waiting for word on loved ones? With eleven still missing there will be some of those, but hardly 24x7 quantity of footage to show, even if they wanted to.

Yeah, well some of us idealists are still living in the commune ...

And this idealist has a problem with the news needing to "rate" and with news segments having to be sponsored by colgate or the Mercure Grand Chalet etc. I'd prefer to watch the news as news and not be fed (complete)garbage. However, that's not the real world and as long as we want the sanitised, censored (government or network), light and fluffy version that's what we'll get dished up and my children will continue to follow and quote the headlines as if they actually tell them the story. (I am working on training them to be more discerning).

The lack of "new" footage didn't stop the blanket 9/11 coverage. I'm at home full-time and I know I saw the same stuff, same interviews, same grabs, same victim stories again & again & again.

And of course the average poor Indian fisherman probably doesn't have a mobile phone & handycam to get the right images.

WhiteElephant
28-12-2004, 05:31 PM
What's the problem? The media are not about reporting the truth, let alone balance. Anyone with that ideal left the industry years ago. They have a product to sell and will "report" any story that sells. 9/11, Bali "sold". Civil wars that have gone on for 20 years in Africa, gonig on for another year, doesn't sell. Australia winning a test series (if they do it) does sell well.

Natural disasters (as a rule) don't sell well unless they occur in an industrialised (and preferably western) country.

The other thing they lack is pictures. The same amatuer videos will get pretty old pretty fast so what are you going to show? Nervous relatives waiting for word on loved ones? With eleven still missing there will be some of those, but hardly 24x7 quantity of footage to show, even if they wanted to.

They don't need to show continuous footage of dead bodies to call it news. Here are some suggestions:
History of similar earthquakes/ tsunamis and their effects
Some detail about the usual way of life of the villages/ people affected
Interviews/ responses from political figures in Australia and locally
Future predictions for the area from experts - will there be more tsunamis?
Detail about relief efforts

There are plenty of things to show, however, you are right, these do not necessarily make for the hyper-emotional sensation-inducing product they want to present to us.

Maybe I am being naive but I would still like to think that there is at least some objectivity (and individual idealism) left in the industry.

Rincewind
28-12-2004, 05:36 PM
They don't need to show continuous footage of dead bodies to call it news. Here are some suggestions:
History of similar earthquakes/ tsunamis and their effects
Some detail about the usual way of life of the villages/ people affected
Interviews/ responses from political figures in Australia and locally
Future predictions for the area from experts - will there be more tsunamis?
Detail about relief efforts

There are plenty of things to show, however, you are right, these do not necessarily make for the hyper-emotional sensation-inducing product they want to present to us.

Maybe I am being naive but I would still like to think that there is at least some objectivity (and individual idealism) left in the industry.

TV news is all about images. There will be some shots of food being dropped from planes and the odd kiddy getting a typhoid booster but really that's about it. I did see some analysis on tsunamis on SBS this morning. But that sort of analysis will probably come in a week or so when they have had time to put together a doco.

The interesting question (I think) is what pressure will be brought to bear on those who decided AGAINST an integrated early warning system for the Indian Ocean. Apparently a decision which was only made last year. This means that had they decided FOR such a system it probably would not have been ready in time for this tsunami anyway, but interesting nevertheless.

arosar
28-12-2004, 06:00 PM
Hey TWE, mate, check out www.nytimes.com coverage mate. There's a good presentation.

Cheers,

AR

Libby
28-12-2004, 06:03 PM
OK - A Current Affair just ended with an apology for having to hold over their "giant truck" story for Tsunami coverage. Now I'll have to watch tomorrow to catch that one ...

WhiteElephant
28-12-2004, 06:05 PM
OK - A Current Affair just ended with an apology for having to hold over their "giant truck" story for Tsunami coverage. Now I'll have to watch tomorrow to catch that one ...

Dammit I was waiting for the giant truck all day!

Spiny Norman
28-12-2004, 07:24 PM
The interesting question (I think) is what pressure will be brought to bear on those who decided AGAINST an integrated early warning system for the Indian Ocean. Apparently a decision which was only made last year. This means that had they decided FOR such a system it probably would not have been ready in time for this tsunami anyway, but interesting nevertheless.

From what I've read, the Indian ocean historically does not suffer from a lot of Tsunami ... don't know when the last big one was, but I recall reading many years ago that Krakatoa's big bang sent a wave twice around the world and killed many tens of thousands (that would have been maybe 100+ years ago). Isn't it the Pacific that has most of the problems?

Even if you did have it in place, does it really make a huge difference? Some of these people lived on islands that are only 2-3 metres above sea-level at their highest point (e.g. the Maldives). A bunch of fishermen were killed in Somalia ... I don't imagine there'd be any easy way to reach most of them because who're you gonna call?

If you were trying to warn the east coast of Australia it ought to be simple enough to just send SMS messages to every phone that has been in one of the coastal phone cells in the past 24-48 hours, but overseas, who knows. Many of the people killed were sitting in restaurants and in their hotels, so probably thought they were safe. It seems to have been a series of waves, each building on those that preceded, that caught people out. The first one hits, people go "wow" but don't realise that there's a bunch more coming and that they have to run and run fast to get away.

Rincewind
28-12-2004, 07:45 PM
From what I've read, the Indian ocean historically does not suffer from a lot of Tsunami ... don't know when the last big one was, but I recall reading many years ago that Krakatoa's big bang sent a wave twice around the world and killed many tens of thousands (that would have been maybe 100+ years ago). Isn't it the Pacific that has most of the problems?

That is the conventional story. The Pacific is much much larger and perhaps more active volcanically. Krakatoa was 1883. Not sure about sending a wave twice around the world. I have heard that the eruption/explosion was heard in Sydney and people were definitely killed by related tsunamis in Java and Sumatra but as it was a surface eruption I don't believe you would get the same quantity of water in motion as you do with an underwater earthquake/mudslide generated tsunami.

Earlier in 1815 the island of Sumbawa (in Indonesia) also exploded spectacularly. It has been estimated as 150 TIMES BIGGER than Mt St Helens. The debris injected into the atmosphere caused massive crop failures in 1816 all over Europe (and the rest of the world), but the eruption was not widely reported and I don't know about any related casualties from tsumanis.

Anyway, the region is not without catastrophic precedents in the area of volcanic activity. Don't know what the tsunami record is like though.

Spiny Norman
28-12-2004, 07:54 PM
Krakatoa was 1883. Not sure about sending a wave twice around the world.

I may have a faulty memory. Found the following Reuters newsflash via Google:

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SP134319.htm

It talks about 40m-high waves (120+ feet) and the wave reaching the English channel ... so it at least made it half way around the world ...

Here's another report of the Krakatoa event, even more frightening in its detail:

http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoes_work/Krakatau.html

Rincewind
28-12-2004, 08:04 PM
I may have a faulty memory. Found the following Reuters newsflash via Google:

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SP134319.htm

It talks about 40m-high waves (120+ feet) and the wave reaching the English channel ... so it at least made it half way around the world ...

Yes 40m high waves in the immediate vicinity and "tsunami waves" being "recorded or observed throughout the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, ... and even as far away as the English Channel."

No comment on the scale of these English Channel tsunamis but I don't they could have amounted to much.

arosar
29-12-2004, 08:38 AM
FMD! No one's doing any work here in the office. They're all talking about this incident.

AR

antichrist
29-12-2004, 05:45 PM
I was in the Philippines when one hit but luckily it was two islands away so was buffeted. The waves were supposed to be high as the coconut trees and many died. I felt the earthquake.

Cat
01-01-2005, 09:37 PM
I see the number of victims has now reached 150,000 according to the UN. By comparison in a normal week in Africa, 115,000 children starve to death. Just another normal week in a brutal world.

antichrist
02-01-2005, 12:35 AM
In response to the disaster there was an excellent philosophical article in the SMH a few days ago re Problem of Evil. So busy I have not finished reading. On request I will post extracts and send full article for anyone wanting.

firegoat7
02-01-2005, 11:25 AM
I see the number of victims has now reached 150,000 according to the UN. By comparison in a normal week in Africa, 115,000 children starve to death. Just another normal week in a brutal world.

Yeah I completely agree (although I'm not so sure about those actual figures).
It is undoubtly true that in the west we are dismissive to problems experienced by the rest of humanity. Western media, unfortunately, plays a major part in this global amnesia. It seems that we have no real understanding about what is happening in the world on a daily basis at all. We are misinformed and then feed a steady supply of further lies.

Having thought about the coverage by the local media on the tsunami, I came to three simple judgements.

1/ Western Media is a Nationalistic propaganda machine. Anyone who has seen the film "Outfoxed" would quickly verify such a position. In "Outfoxed" one journalist is quoted as saying that anything the Fox channel produces, is on par, if not worst, then anything produced by the old Soviet media propaganda machine. There is little difference between "Fox" and other so called unbiased media companies in the West. To consider the implications of such a statement, ask why is it we choose to focus on X amount of Australians as opposed to X amount of any other peoples during a disaster. Any human loss of life is newsworthy not just Ozzies. All human life loss is a tragedy not just Ozzie lifes. All over the world we have the same ridiculous and nauseating responses. American news concentrates on american lives, Indonesian news on Indonesian lives. It is absolutely pathetic.

2/ I lisened to a lot of radio National coverage of the event, they also annoyed me. Two stories stand out. One was about the economic impact of the disaster to the tourist industry. Share stocks and long term recoveries seemed the focus of this story. Hello? ummm, How many people died? Does anybody really think that we should be talking about the long term economic impacts of the tsunami when people are in urgent need of medical supplies and food? Hello? again, isn't that just a tad tasteless. And people wonder why the 3rd world calls the west arrogant.

The second story was from some other peanut who was asking tourists to return to the devasted areas. I couldn't believe this story actually got coverage. The arguement was that as soon as things returned to normal everything would be better, cause tourists benefit the economy. Talk about making me sick! When someone is injured or sick we don't send them to work. Instead we tend to help them, let them rest, recognising that they need to recover. isnt that the idea of International aid? The last thing i would want to see, if i was a local, would be some flabby pasty white middle aged person sipping cocktails, getting a suntan, while people are being buried. Could you imagine somebody saying to you, " hey lets crash the funeral, go to the disco and work on our suntans."

3/ The last thing that really annoyed me was our reluctance to transport children out of the disaster, let alone adults. No doubt local authorities are dealing with orphans and the homeless in a reasonable way, but it does strike me that people ought to be removed from a disater area immediately. For example during one particular war in the Balkans, Kosovin people were transported to refugee camps in Australia for their own protection. A sensible and reasonable thing to do during war. So what is different during a "natural disaster" as opposed to a "man made one". It becomes even more mind boggling when you consider that all western countries, put on flights for "their" citizens, so "they" could evacuate immediately. One Virgin flight reportably had 17 Australians on it. Whats the matter? Couldn't we find anymore takers for the other vacant seats? Moreover, in the Kosovin example, a number of refuges returned home after the war, thankful of being given shelter during the war. Shouldn't some tsuanami victims be extended the same courtesy?

So finally I would suggest a WORLD NEWS ought to be a WORLD NEWS not just a subjective nationalistic perspective designed to alienate us from the rest of humanity.

Cat
02-01-2005, 11:49 AM
1/ Western Media is a Nationalistic propaganda machine. Anyone who has seen the film "Outfoxed" would quickly verify such a position. In "Outfoxed" one journalist is quoted as saying that anything the Fox channel produces, is on par, if not worst, then anything produced by the old Soviet media propaganda machine. There is little difference between "Fox" and other so called unbiased media companies in the West. To consider the implications of such a statement, ask why is it we choose to focus on X amount of Australians as opposed to X amount of any other peoples during a disaster. Any human loss of life is newsworthy not just Ozzies. All human life loss is a tragedy not just Ozzie lifes. All over the world we have the same ridiculous and nauseating responses. American news concentrates on american lives, Indonesian news on Indonesian lives. It is absolutely pathetic.



Big Sister is watching!

Rincewind
02-01-2005, 01:41 PM
Basically I agree with what you say but I think perhaps with a few deviations on some minor points.


1/ Western Media is a Nationalistic propaganda machine. Anyone who has seen the film "Outfoxed" would quickly verify such a position. In "Outfoxed" one journalist is quoted as saying that anything the Fox channel produces, is on par, if not worst, then anything produced by the old Soviet media propaganda machine. There is little difference between "Fox" and other so called unbiased media companies in the West. To consider the implications of such a statement, ask why is it we choose to focus on X amount of Australians as opposed to X amount of any other peoples during a disaster. Any human loss of life is newsworthy not just Ozzies. All human life loss is a tragedy not just Ozzie lifes. All over the world we have the same ridiculous and nauseating responses. American news concentrates on american lives, Indonesian news on Indonesian lives. It is absolutely pathetic.

The is justified by the media position of selling the news as a commodity. In doing it must be packaged in an appealling way. Hence the focus on national interests. Even though the number of Australians killed and injured was very low the focus was still on them as that is what Australian audiences want to hear. I agree all losses are tragic, however, not all are newsworthy when your press adopts the market approach of news marketing.


2/ I lisened to a lot of radio National coverage of the event, they also annoyed me. Two stories stand out. One was about the economic impact of the disaster to the tourist industry. Share stocks and long term recoveries seemed the focus of this story. Hello? ummm, How many people died? Does anybody really think that we should be talking about the long term economic impacts of the tsunami when people are in urgent need of medical supplies and food? Hello? again, isn't that just a tad tasteless. And people wonder why the 3rd world calls the west arrogant.

The human loss was tragic and covered. I see no reason why the econimic effects should be ignored. Surely both are worthy of some airtime.


The second story was from some other peanut who was asking tourists to return to the devasted areas. I couldn't believe this story actually got coverage. The arguement was that as soon as things returned to normal everything would be better, cause tourists benefit the economy. Talk about making me sick! When someone is injured or sick we don't send them to work. Instead we tend to help them, let them rest, recognising that they need to recover. isnt that the idea of International aid? The last thing i would want to see, if i was a local, would be some flabby pasty white middle aged person sipping cocktails, getting a suntan, while people are being buried. Could you imagine somebody saying to you, " hey lets crash the funeral, go to the disco and work on our suntans."

Heart was in the right place. Of course it should be up to the local authorities to determine when is an appropriate time to reallow tourist access to affected areas. Disaster tourism in a problem but without hearing the report you mention, I doubt he was advocating that.


3/ The last thing that really annoyed me was our reluctance to transport children out of the disaster, let alone adults. No doubt local authorities are dealing with orphans and the homeless in a reasonable way, but it does strike me that people ought to be removed from a disater area immediately. For example during one particular war in the Balkans, Kosovin people were transported to refugee camps in Australia for their own protection. A sensible and reasonable thing to do during war. So what is different during a "natural disaster" as opposed to a "man made one". It becomes even more mind boggling when you consider that all western countries, put on flights for "their" citizens, so "they" could evacuate immediately. One Virgin flight reportably had 17 Australians on it. Whats the matter? Couldn't we find anymore takers for the other vacant seats? Moreover, in the Kosovin example, a number of refuges returned home after the war, thankful of being given shelter during the war. Shouldn't some tsuanami victims be extended the same courtesy?

There are a number of significant differences between that and this, mostly surrounding the West's role in the region and the continuing danger that Kosovas were exposed to. The way the Kosovo refugee situation panned out, I would be very surprised if anything like it was repeated anytime soon, especially by Australia.


So finally I would suggest a WORLD NEWS ought to be a WORLD NEWS not just a subjective nationalistic perspective designed to alienate us from the rest of humanity.

I think that can be taken as read but rather than being the product of some sort of multinational/government consiracy, I believe it is just the inevitable product of a "free" press in a market economy. Perhaps the news should be nationalised, but is the ABC any better? IMHO only marginally.

firegoat7
02-01-2005, 05:54 PM
Dear Barry,

I will now add, apologist for Western Media to your resume or should that be minister for misinformation in the new world millenium.

firegoat7
02-01-2005, 06:03 PM
There are a number of significant differences between that and this, mostly surrounding the West's role in the region and the continuing danger that Kosovas were exposed to.

This point couldn't be let past without comment. To suggest that the victims of the Tsunami aftermath are in any less danger then the Kosovins is plainly ridiculous. There can be no real difference in either circumstance if the resulting conclusion is either death, injury or irrepairable lifelong psychological damage. Stop apologising for stupid policies!, offer solutions!

Rincewind
02-01-2005, 07:10 PM
I will now add, apologist for Western Media to your resume or should that be minister for misinformation in the new world millenium.

I make no apologies. Simply take the media for what they are, and not what they purport (or you want them) to be.


This point couldn't be let past without comment. To suggest that the victims of the Tsunami aftermath are in any less danger then the Kosovins is plainly ridiculous. There can be no real difference in either circumstance if the resulting conclusion is either death, injury or irrepairable lifelong psychological damage. Stop apologising for stupid policies!, offer solutions!

That point is debatable but not debate-worthy. Other factors like the influence of the West in the region and the general intractables of the Kosova refugee program means it ain't going to happen. Lamentably, the locals will have to make do as best they can.

I'm afraid not all problems have solutions that meet your high standards. I think our differences of opinion are not related to any issue than a mis-match on the idealist - pragmatist scale.

Cat
02-01-2005, 08:59 PM
The is justified by the media position of selling the news as a commodity. In doing it must be packaged in an appealling way. Hence the focus on national interests. Even though the number of Australians killed and injured was very low the focus was still on them as that is what Australian audiences want to hear. I agree all losses are tragic, however, not all are newsworthy when your press adopts the market approach of news marketing.

The news can be made appealling almost regardless of content. In fact, you are quite likely to see the same pictures at the same time in London, New York or Sydney courtesy of Fox News or Skye. Only the voice-overs change. Given that our newstainment is global, it's cheaper to produce transcontinental trash than to actually report news. Some of the stories I've seen have been years old, they're simply rotated. You can be guaranteed to see a Bin Laden story whenever the White House needs a diversion. It's simply global manipulation, part of the population control, along with Prozac and the X Box. Only now it's much easier because we've exported our poverty overseas and a population without need, greedy, complacent, amoral with every base instinct satisfied is one untroubling to its masters. The middle classes are so socially fragmented that they will remain impotent for the foreseeable future. As for the prols, a string of easy credit at the electronic warehouses, cheep booze and readily available street drugs should do the trick!

arosar
06-01-2005, 08:16 AM
Let me just say that I feel quite proud of the government's $1B proposed aid to Indonesia. I've been listening to talk back radio here in NZ and the kiwis are just staggered by it. Even more laughable is that their PM, Helen Clark, was actually on some mountain climbing trip somewhere when tragedy struck and didn't hear of it til some days later.

Another point of contention recently is the proposed day of mourning. Many here believe that NZ is merely copying Australia and that it actually costs the economy.

AR

Cat
06-01-2005, 11:10 AM
Let me just say that I feel quite proud of the government's $1B proposed aid to Indonesia. I've been listening to talk back radio here in NZ and the kiwis are just staggered by it. Even more laughable is that their PM, Helen Clark, was actually on some mountain climbing trip somewhere when tragedy struck and didn't hear of it til some days later.

Another point of contention recently is the proposed day of mourning. Many here believe that NZ is merely copying Australia and that it actually costs the economy.

AR

I know this sounds incredibly cynical, but I wonder how much of this is really commercial opportunism. Industries have been devastated as a result of the tsunami, and the human toll horrendous, but the biggest disaster may well be the surrender of industry ( and to some extent sovereignty) to western interest.

There is no reason to feel pride only bewilderment. One can't help wondering why there is so much inertia on the part of Western governments in tackling the wider issues of third world poverty by comparison. Despite the dramatic images seen on our TV screen, the images of starvation and disease in Africa are just as horrendous but by comparison are occuring on a weekly basis. I suspect our governments have already factored in the returns for this relief effort prior to their decision to announce such a generous offering. Make no mistake, we will be the winners from this tsunami.

Alan Shore
06-01-2005, 05:30 PM
I know this sounds incredibly cynical, but I wonder how much of this is really commercial opportunism. Industries have been devastated as a result of the tsunami, and the human toll horrendous, but the biggest disaster may well be the surrender of industry ( and to some extent sovereignty) to western interest.

No, I think you're right Dave. This is also the reason I believe India refused aid.. they don't want to owe any favours to the west.

antichrist
07-01-2005, 02:22 PM
The funniest one is that Saudi Arabia is only donating peanuts because they are still upset that they were accused of supporting terrorism with their previous donations to charities. They will lose very badly in the PR stakes amongst the Asian Muslim countires. This could cause funny reactions amongst terrorist groups as well whole scene.