Sunday, January 31, 2010

Disaster pornography and the Haiti earthquake

"Disaster pornography" is a term I had never heard of before, although apparently it has been "out there."  It refers to our fascination with the immediacy of disaster stories, but our failure to understand deeper structural causes, ones that the policies of our country may foster, such as the Atlantic slave trade that led to the Haitian Revolution in 1804, but also political interference and trade policies as of late.

I was very impressed with the description of this phenomenon for the Haiti earthquake by David Sirota. He also discusses the role of news media "stars," who sometimes seem to bask in the attention that on-site disaster reporting gives them.

Reminder and disclaimer: the more political aspects of this blog that occasionally pop up represent my personal views, and not those of LDCSN.

(Photo: Anderson Cooper, of CNN)

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