Disaster porn

Western reporting on the ‘rest of the world’ remains an important topic. Coverage of the natural disasters in Burma (Myanmar) and China provide some of the most recent examples of how the Western media often engages in what Frank Furedi calls ‘disaster porn’ (thanks to my friend Winston Mano for sharing the link). Furedi argues that Western media reports on these tragedies often serve as morality lessons about ‘failed societies’, and provide the opportunity for the West to display their superiority – hidden beneath a veil of compassion.

This veil of compassion is often seen in the reporting on Zimbabwe as well. While telling stories of individual lives touched by tyranny and oppression can provide context and a human dimension to the ‘colder’ reports of vote rigging and corruption, these stories can also become showcases for the reporter’s own heroism of reporting under difficult circumstances, for instance. Today, the UK tabloid the Daily Mail in an editorial even hinted at the need for an invasion of Zimbabwe:
“It is nothing less than shaming that Britain – a principal architect of invading Iraq on a far flimsier pretext – is prepared to stand aside without intervening as Mr Mugabe begins the genocidal electoral cleansing of our former colony. “
Ah, yes, another invasion. Just what the world needs now.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under colony, Daily Mail, disaster porn, Zimbabwe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s