More than 14 million it would seem. It’s silly season, a particularly riveting one at that given we have Naomi Campbell coming live from the dock at the Hague*. So when a flood hits Pakistan, affecting 14,000,000 people, one would expect a few column inches devoted to drowning people and big numbers. At the very least it’s an excuse of foreign correspondents to ride in helicopters without getting shot at. But it would seem all our action-hero reporters (bar the brilliant Orla Guerin) are on staycation this summer. Oh well.
Look, I’m not naive enough to think this sort of story is going to get airplay over the start of the football season or meditating toddlers. But, when a weather event affects more people that the Haiti earthquake and the 2004 Tsunami combined, well thats maybe an opportunity for the environmental, science or development editors in these news organisations to stick up a hand in the morning editorial meeting and say “hey, maybe there’s a story here”. Whether that story is climate change, population led resource issues or simply piss-poor local government, when the number on the other side is 14,000,000, it’s a big story.
Okay, since it is silly season, here’s a game you can play. See if you can find references to either Pakistan or flood in the oven-fresh homepages I’ve just baked below.
!!EDIT 12 August!!
Good meta-piece from CJR pulling together the coverage of this summer’s weather from around the world. This subject is being covered, is some good quality and depth, but not it would appear on the front-pages and in quantity.
* Big BTW, WTF was Nelson doing inviting Chuckie Taylor and Naomi Campbell around for dinner. Nelson Mandela! He can invite anyone on the planet over for a slap up meal and he chooses these goons. Another strike like that and it’s time for the Nobel recall time.