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In Places Never Mentioned
Alex Steffen, 27 Jan 05

As a matter of editorial policy, "We don't generally offer links to resources which are about problems and not solutions, unless the resource is so insightful that its very existence is a step towards a solution."

Medecins sans Frontieres, the heroic medical relief group, has released a list of the "Top 10" most underreported humanitarian stories from 2004 which is a perfect example of what we mean.

There are heart-wreching crises on-going in Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, Somalia, Chechnya, Burundi, North Korea, Ethiopia, Liberia and with the spread of Tuberculosis which are both disasters on the order of magnitude of the recent Tsunami crisis, and woefully underreported in the global media.

As MSF explains:

"According to Andrew Tyndall, publisher of the online media-tracking journal The Tyndall Report, the 10 stories highlighted by MSF accounted for just one minute of the 14,561 minutes on the three major US television networks' nightly newscasts. As the war in Iraq continued to dominate international reporting, only Chechnya received any coverage at all, while TB and the humanitarian concerns in North Korea and Colombia were briefly referred to during reports on other topics. In contrast, 130 minutes were devoted to Martha Stewart and 18 minutes to the indecency fine levied by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against the National Football League for the Super Bowl Halftime Show. 'Millions are living through catastrophes in places that are never even mentioned.'"

If we're going to change the world, we need an accurate understanding the problems which beset it. Resources like this report are key tools for building that understanding.

(Thanks, Bruce!)

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Comments

Brothers and Sisters, this is a hard-to-look-at example of why our work is so important. Rarely will we have the opportunity to make that heroic gesture that most do-gooders dream of, but, we always have the opportunity to do those little things that real movements are made of.

I love. I live. I do my best to be worldchanging. Keep up the good work.


Posted by: Daniel N Smith Jr. on 28 Jan 05



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