Monday, March 23, 2009

The value of lives: Media angle

The value of lives: Media angle


Ramesh Chander
DID ANYONE notice the news today that Americans paid Afghans $2500 for each person they killed in a missile strike. Compare that with the $5000 that was paid very recently to all the passengers of US Air for surviving (with hardly a scratch) a plane crash on the river Hudson.
When terrorists stuck Mumbai, both national and international media went on an overdrive telling that the attack was aimed at foreigners. About 30 foreigners were killed and almost 150 Indians lost their life.
Did the foreigners suffer the most? Then, why did the media proclaim that?
In Africa, death tolls are typically in the hundreds. If 500 people die in some riots, nobody even notices. The death toll has to be in tens of thousands for it to become a news-item in the back pages.
A few years back when a hurricane hit my city of Miami, about 10 people died (mostly because people did not know how to operate the generator). I was surprised to see it became a big news in India, relegating the 100 people who died in the flood in Bihar a few days later.
It is very sad to see that all lives are not valued and cherished equally. And Indian media is as much to blame for this as any other world media.

1 comment:

lafemmereva said...

sir, this is a really though provoking post!