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General News    H2'ed 2/1/10

AS HAITI AID MISSION FAILS, WHAT NEXT TO SPEED RECOVERY?

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What Next For Haiti As "Recovery" Replaces Relief?

By Danny Schechter

Author of The Crime Of Our Time


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As Media Coverage Fades, Urgent Issues On The Disaster Go Uncovered

UN Takes Over Aid Distribution; Admits Effort Has Been a Failure


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Haiti is already fading from the headlines. The desperation of the population in what was called the "rescue" phase of the relief effort is giving way to "silver-lining" talk of recovery and rebuilding.


Even as the death count mounts, this apocalyptic disaster no longer has the ability to shock, perhaps because of media overexposure. The media well of compassion -- fueled by images of lovable orphans and live extractions of half-dead individuals from the rubble -- is running dry as a "been there, done that' feeling sets in among TV execs who sense that the audience will soon become jaded and turn away.


Perhaps that's why the story turned quickly from the dead and dying to celebrities telling Larry King how much money they are donating. Perhaps that's why the plight of sympathetic children took center-stage.


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The reporters who have been there are all tired, and in some cases traumatized because of the vast needs they saw. However, most were gentle in chronicling the pathetic delivery of food and water despite the amazing outpouring of sympathy and generosity. Recently a homeless shelter in Baltimore donated $14.64.


Because of the suffering they have shown us, much of it as character-based human interest vignettes, correspondents seemed to have had little airtime for investigating what history might someday indict as an incompetent, if not criminally negligent, aid response.

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.
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