The Media Disaster: How Does Media Coverage Impact Disasters?

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The Media Disaster A study by the University of Maryland indicated a third of Fox News’ audience believed Iraq participated in the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center despite military and diplomatic proof they did not. This belief, accompanied by several other misunderstandings about the Iraq war, developed through negligent representation of world events by the news (Marcovitz). Sometimes, the news doesn’t do what it is intended to do—accurately publicize information. Media has a tendency to focus less on the truth and more on a good story for high ratings. Obsessive coverage of certain pieces can lead to the neglect of other important issues, specifically, world tragedies—natural disasters and civic crises. Regarding our response to human adversity, the advent of social media has come with new advantages and new problems. Media’s coverage of worldly disasters is important to inform people and encourage help, but the wide variety of media available now must be used responsibly. In February of 2005 the Red Cross reported victims of the Asian Tsunami received $500 per affected person. Meanwhile, relief efforts for Uganda’s eighteen year war achieved only fifty cents per affected person. How can people be so generous to one disaster and so cold to another? People are more likely to donate money to natural disasters because they are easier for us to digest. Humans don't want to believe there is war and evil, so they ignore it. Natural disasters have a cause and effect easily identified and understood. Because maintaining popular attention is difficult, complicated crises with “complex political and social origins” are less likely to receive media attention and communal aid (Wheeler). While natural disaster... ... middle of paper ... ... Works Cited Branch, Adam. "Dangerous Ignorance: The Hysteria of Kony 2012." Aljazeera. N.p., 12 Mar. 2012. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. "Jake Wheeler: How Does Media Coverage Impact Disasters?" Blog post. Center for Disaster Philanthropy. N.p., 28 Oct. 2013. Web. 26 Mar. 2014. Marcovitz, Hal. Bias in the Media. Detroit: Lucent, 2010. 54. Print. MOVE:DC Global Dance Night - Confetti Shower. Digital image. Flickr. Invisible Children, 27 Nov. 2012. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. Romano, Andrew. "Why the Media Ignored the Nashville Flood." Newsweek. N.p., 6 May 2010. Web. 8 Apr. 2014. Roper, Chris. "Kony 2012: Taking A Closer Look At The Social Media Sensation." Konrad- Adenauer-Stiftung. Media Programme Sub-Sahara Africa, 22 Mar. 2012. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. "Social Media Aid the Haiti Relief Effort." Pew Research Centers Journalism Project RSS. Pew Research, 21 Jan. 2010. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

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