Neglected/Sidelined News

Public memory is said to be short. But the attention span of the Media is even more so. This is not to imply that the Media is not doing its job or is being lackadaisical. There is only so much prime time on network news and only so many pages in the newspapers and magazines. They cannot give blanket coverage to everything. They need to sell their news to make their daily bread and in a very competitive environment need to be on their toes for the “next breaking story”. Invariably the not so important news gets shuttled into the backpages.

Bloggers on the other hand do not necessarily need to subscribe to the Breaking News syndrome.They can take a broader perspective and can shine the spotlight on news that have been relegated to the sidelines or have been neglected due to the immediate events of the moment.

The most immediate events that occurred during the last week was of course the Mumbai Bombings and its aftermath, The Israeli-Gaza/Lebanon crisis, the G8 summit and the Ban on the Blogs. These events received Blanket coverage and what got neglected in the melee was the Tsunami which struck Indonesia on Monday, July 18th 2006 and killed nearly 500 people.Sakshi had covered this tragedy at her blog immediately after it happened when everyone else’s attention was distracted by the other immediate events. Another related event that went unnoticed was that the The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System went online 18 months after the December 26th, 2004 tragedy.

What also got missed out was the safe return of the shuttle Discovery to Earth after a 13 day Mission. This was the second shuttle mission after the Columbia disaster in Feb 1 2003 which killed seven astronauts including the Indian-American Kalpana Chawla. The last Discovery mission in July-August 2005 had also generated a lot of Media frenzy especially when its launch was repeatedly postponed and its return to earth also delayed due to the same problem of foam tiles falling off the external tank and damaging the wing just like it had happened with Columbia.

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