By Susan D. Moeller
Hailed as a 'great accomplishment' via the Philadelphia Inquirer , Susan Moeller's Compassion Fatigue warns that the yankee media threatens our skill to appreciate the area round us. Why do the media disguise the realm within the method that they do? Are they only following undefined call for for tabloid-style foreign information? Or are they growing an viewers that has noticeable an excessive amount of - or too little - to care? via a sequence of case reviews of the 'Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse' - disorder, famine, loss of life and struggle - Moeller investigates how newspapers, newsmagazines and tv have coated overseas crises over the past 20 years, determining the ruts into which the media have fallen and revealing why.
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Additional resources for Compassion Fatigue: How the Media Sell Disease, Famine, War and Death
Relatively few people at risk of dying or dying in outof-the-way locations where Americans have little or no security or business interests, or dying where journalists can’t get visas or have to put their lives at risk may doom a disaster to obscurity. “If the story is a famine in the Sudan,” said the late Lee Lescaze, former foreign editor at The Wall Street Journal and The Post, “I make the same callous decision that other people do, that who cares about the Sudan? It’s not high on anyone’s priority and it’s an incredibly nasty place.
72 The finiteness of time and space in all three mediums—television, newspapers and newsmagazines—is exacerbated by the media’s proclivity to feature domestic news, especially of an “entertaining” nature. ” According to The Tyndall Report which monitors the networks’ news programming, in 1989, ABC, CBS and NBC collectively devoted 4,032 minutes to stories from correspondents posted at foreign bureaus. By 1995, that figure had declined to 1,991. ABC went from 1,397 to 784, CBS from 1,454 to 740 and NBC had the largest percentage drop, from 1,181 to 467.
If we turn the page— according to the logic of the advertising campaign—we become part of the problem. Photographer Kevin Carter, who took the 1993 photo of the Sudanese toddler threatened by the vulture, did not help that particular child, but his image, which was seen all over the world, became part of the global humanitarian 40 lll COMPASSION FATIGUE effort to prevent apathy. A little over a year later Carter won a Pulitzer Prize for his effort. Two months after he accepted the award in New York he committed suicide.