The Paw Print

Unnoticed News

Alex Francoeur, Reporter

The news in America today is a whirlwind of blisteringly fast consumption, where the story either gets a week of infographics in newspapers and TV, or half a column on the second page. Stories today come all at once, and people must sort through it and pick what is newsworthy, what their audience wants to hear about. I think this leaves some important stories without coverage

The recent hurricanes that gripped the nation were hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. During Harvey, stations put weathermen in the thick of it, battling winds they probably should not have been in. The following week, they covered the rescue effort, celebrities donating, and the community coming together, yet after two weeks of almost twenty-four hour coverage the news outlets were still not letting it go.

On the night of September 8, exactly two weeks after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, the biggest earthquake in 100 years stuck a few miles off the coast of Mexico. It was so strong it caused damage in Mexico City 600 miles from the epicenter, and a small tsunami that traveled all the way to Peru and New Zealand. The state of Oaxaca was severely damaged with sixty one dead and 250,000 people without homes.

It is not like the news media is indifferent to the plights of other nations, on September 19 Mexico experienced a second devastating earthquake that killed 333 people according to their civil defense secretary. Unlike the last earthquake this struck within the most populated areas of Mexico, but also the area that gets the most earthquakes. Their buildings are made to withstand this kind of natural disaster. The first earthquake hit a significantly poorer state that led to much more structural damage. Though deaths were five times higher in the second earthquake, many more were displaced, living without shelter, in the first earthquake.

It is strange where the news media decides to devote all their attention. It seems this time they gave priority to a disaster at home rather than abroad, and chose to cover greater loss of life rather than greater human suffering. It is primarily what the American consumers want to watch, and what will keep them hooked to the screen for those few minutes more. People must be informed, and you cannot be informed without information.

Thanks to this capitalistic phenomenon some stories get swept under the rug as more interesting ones get coverage. This can lead to not just an uninformed public, but also people in these disasters without foreign aid. When reading articles about the two earthquakes it shows the difference new coverage brings to international outreach. The first earthquake, there was no talk whatsoever of international volunteers or foreign militaries helping out. But, the second earthquake, people came from as far as Japan coming to Mexico to help in search and rescue. Without news coverage, a lot of people will not know to give help, or that people are in as much trouble as they are in.

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