Since the first Question of the Week was sent on July 8, 2014, I’ve seen the number of recipients grow from 40 to “over 269,” as I see at the top of this email. More than two years later, as I approach my last day at POLITICO, I’m excited to write one last question and announce that Rachel Schindler, Rebecca Haller and past authors will be keeping this program alive moving forward. Special thanks to Peter Cherukuri for his support of this program from its conception, and thank you everyone for your participation and for sharing your love of this industry with me. It’s been a great run — can’t wait to see it grow!
66. Do we care?
We’ve probably all seen this photo from a few weeks ago, of 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh sitting in an ambulance in Aleppo with chaos and grief all around him:
A core premise of journalism is that if a story is surfaced, made compelling and delivered in a digestible format and platform, people can be made to care. And if they don’t care, it’s something journalists can fix. Do a better job findingthe stories that really matter, cut through the noise better, make your website more visually appealing, decrease load times and customize content.
But if we were great at all of that and achieved everything we talk about day in and day out, would people care? Do people not care because they don’t understand, or even when they understand, do they still not care? Do people not care because they don’t know what they can do, or do they not do anything because, deep down, they don’t really care?
It would be disingenuous for any of us to claim that we — unlike everyone else — do care. We could all do more if we really wanted to. Why don’t we? What can journalism do to help us? Is it even journalism’s place to do so?
And if journalism can only go so far, what else can we do?
New York Times
August 18, 2016
The drafting of Omran as an emblem of despair is not new; images of dead and injured children from Syria are shared daily on social media, many of them indescribably more harrowing. Pieces of children’s bodies being pulled from rubble are photographed with appalling regularity in a war of indiscriminate attacks, most often from government airstrikes and shelling but also from rebel mortars.
But while the mind revolts against looking too long at those pictures, and many news media shun them as too gruesome, it may be the relatively familiar look of Omran’s distress that allows a broader public to relate to it.
August 16, 2016
But the national media has, by and large, rendered the flood a secondary story at best.
“You have the Olympics. You got the election. If you look at the national news, (the flood is) probably on the third or fourth page,” FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said Tuesday.