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Re: [videoblogging] Sept 2: International Blogging for Disaster Relief Day

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  • Randolfe Wicker
    I have been appalled by phone calls to C-Span s Washington Journal where many say: Shoot those looters! Even with the general media s coverage of this
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 1, 2005
      I have been appalled by phone calls to C-Span's Washington Journal where many say: "Shoot those looters!"

      Even with the general media's coverage of this disaster, you can get a glimpse of the personal horror many are experiencing.  A woman's husband dies and is lying by the Expressway and "relief workers" tell her to just push him further away from the road so the odor of his rotting corpse will be less intrusive.
      It is by capturing these personal stories that are considered "too much" for major media to focus on that vloggers can have their first real impact on news coverage.
      Some quick examples that come to mind:
      Vloggers could tell the stories of people with good reasons "to loot"---starving families, loved ones desperate for medicines, etc.  I can imagine "looting" a gun store myself to get a gun to protect myself in a situation where no civil order existed and armed criminal gangs were roaming about robbing, raping, etc.
      Vloggers could highlight the embarrassing shortcomings of relief efforts: trucks roaring in without bringing food or water; convoys of trucks heading back to safer ground without picking up desperate refugees needing a lift, etc.
      You get the idea.  Vloggers can be the voice that would otherwise be screened out of censored politically-correct media.  Such uncensored coverage could really throw light on situations and events established media would be too timid to deal with.
      The biggest problem is that without any civil order, well intentioned vloggers might well have their cameras stolen from them.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 10:55 AM
      Subject: Re: [videoblogging] Sept 2: International Blogging for Disaster Relief Day

      Andreas Haugstrup wrote:
      On Thu, 01 Sep 2005 16:13:24 +0200, Andy Carvin <acarvin@...> wrote:
      Why haven't we see a Katrina-related blog of TsunamiHelp-like
      proportions? You would think that the US, the birthplace of blogging,
      would have been able to catalyze a who's who of bloggers to coordinate
      information sharing, just as TsunamiHelp did. Instead, we've seen a
      scattering of blogs pop up here and there, doing their best to share
      information. But it's distributed and dispersed, with no coordination
      between them.
      The Southern US is a lot easier to cover for CNN and friends than South  
      East Asia. And the scale of the disaster is not even close. My guess is  
      that these two facts make the need for a blogging endavour much smaller.  
      Could it be that there's simply no need when people can just turn on CNN?

      One could make the argument that there's no point in us vlogging or blogging in the first place because we could just rely on the media to do their job. And so far, it's been quite extraordinary watching the major news networks struggling to cover the story. Nothing like this has happened before in modern America. Even 9/11 was much better covered, because everyone was in place throughout the event. For Katrina, news crews had their satellite trucks washed away, their generators stolen by looters. It's a whole other ball game, and an ugly one at that.

      Meanwhile, I've also noticed that many blogs have gone on with their
      daily lives as if Katrina never happened. Sure, they may have mentioned
      it once or twice, but have they posted any Katrina resources? Have they
      linked to the Red Cross? Have they encouraged people to donate blood?
      Red Cross? The US is a rich country (Bangladesh is not) and they have the  
      ability to pay for disaster clean-up. I imagine that's why you haven't  
      seen "donate money here" links like you did with the tsunami.
      Yes, the US is a rich country. But does that mean bloggers shouldn't try to help out?

      Being European donating blood is not something I've given any thought.  
      Even if I was in the US I wouldn't be allowed to donate (us Europeans  
      apparently all have BSE and can't donate blood).
      Please read further down in my original post. It's not about having Europeans blog about giving blood in the US - you're right, that's pointless. But what about blogging about relief for victims of Paris hotel fires? The Baghdad stampede? The idea is to take a moment and blog about some kind of relief effort relevant to your community. Katrina was just the catalyst for the idea.

      Some, yes. Most, no. Anti-Bush blogs continue to bash Bush, while
      pro-Bush blogs continue to praise him. Travel blogs continue to talk
      about travel. Tech blogs talk tech, pet blogs talk pets. Can't we all
      just take a break and focus on helping disaster victims for just a  
      People pick their own battles - that's what a free country is also about.  
      You may not agree with their choices, but being condenscending leaves me  
      with a bad taste in my mouth.
      Something must be getting lost in translation, then - I didn't say anything condescending. I was just merely observing what I've been seeing on many blogs, and suggesting that people should pause and find a way to help out.
      Therefore, I'd like to unilaterally declare tomorrow, Friday September
      2, as International Blogging for Disaster Relief Day.
      I like that idea.
      Cool, then. :-) Any suggestions for making it work are most appreciated.

      take care,

      - Andreas

      Andy Carvin
      Program Director
      EDC Center for Media & Community
      acarvin @ edc . org
      Blog: http://www.andycarvin.com
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