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Celeb Tragedy

29 Dec 2004 by Matthew Linderman

80,000+ dead but CNN has the real story: Tsunamis shatter celebrity holidays. From tragedy comes “Entertainment” pieces.

15 comments so far (Post a Comment)

29 Dec 2004 | SH said...

I'm absolutely devestated that Czech model Petra Nemcova was "injured." God be with her.

29 Dec 2004 | John B said...

There obviously weren't enough Americans involved, so we get to hear about "celebrities" from around the world who were in the middle of this tragedy. Usually, the headlines go something like this: "400,000 killed in some small country in some horrible disaster, and three Americans." The article goes on to tell you the life story of those three Americans.

29 Dec 2004 | Brad Hurley said...

The other thing that burns me up are all the reports about how the disaster is disrupting people's upcoming vacation plans, and how travel agents are busy trying to redirect people to new destinations or fielding requests from people wondering when the affected beaches and resorts will reopen. I guess it's the result of stupid editors/producers demanding that their journalists find a "local angle" to the story, but god, it's appalling and depressing. Don't people think about anyone but themselves?

29 Dec 2004 | Will Bolton said...

Cut the holier than thou crap. will publish hundreds of stories related to this natural disaster. This is but one of them.

I'm assuming SH's comment was sarcastic. Read the full piece and not just the caption below her photo. It looks like her boyfriend died and she suffered "broken bones, possibly including a broken pelvis, and unspecified internal injuries."

29 Dec 2004 | Mark said...

I think one of the things that media tries to do with large stories like this is find the local connection, some emotional tie that their audience can relate to.

For this story, it was celebrities. In subsequent stories, we'll probably hear of family and / or business connections.

29 Dec 2004 | AnonymousCoward said...

Celebs are people too. Why are their tragedies any less important than anyone else's? Would you rather hear about a poor farmer that lost his girlfriend? Would that make you feel better about yourself?

29 Dec 2004 | mort said...

I think Matthew's post made the CNN story sound much more frivolous and silly than it actually is. I clicked the link expecting the focus to be how some celebrity's holidays were spoiled, but as Will says the events related are (sadly) far more serious. It's not an Entertaiment piece, it's just another facet of the tragedy

29 Dec 2004 | Dan H said...

There's way too much focus in the Media on travelers' stories... yes it's a bummer to have a big wave spoil a holiday, but those who are just visitors (even relief workers) will eventually pack their bags, leave and go back to their normal life. I think the problem is there's no accounting for the long term effects this tragedy has on the people who will have to rebuild homes, live on with lost family, etc. Mainly, the reporters/media are at fault, being lazy and just interviewing English-speaking and believing the interest of American TV-viewers is in the people we can relate to who were effected. This is truer than Id like to admit, but I think itd do citizens well to hear what an actual Thai person has to say.

29 Dec 2004 | Don Schenck said...

To me, the CNN story indicates how your station in life has no bearing; if you were in the "wrong" place at the wrong time, you got nailed. The rest of us should be Thankful.

Oh, and Helpful.

29 Dec 2004 | Darrel said...

"I think one of the things that media tries to do with large stories like this is"...

...sell advertising space.

The day the story broke,'s top story was the long lines at retailers for gift returns. The earthquake was second billed. Is that bad news? Maybe. It is good marketing? Certainly.

29 Dec 2004 | GM said...

I think it's the headline moreso than anything else. Here we are talking about the deaths of a ridiculous number of people, and the headline makes the tragedy sound like little more than a nuisance.

29 Dec 2004 | David said...

I think in some ways media picks celebrities because it makes the tragedy easier to relate to - it gives it a human face. I for one cannot possibly begin to grasp the numbers so far - latest reports from the Red Cross put it at possibly 100,000 dead. It's a lot easier to give specific examples - Petra's eight hours clinging to a tree, for example - than to try and give the broad scope. Plus, as someone says, it's not like it's their only article on the subject.

Then again, I was really disappointed in the way the Brit media focused on our holidaymakers to begin with, rather than the locals, of whom many more were dead or injured. I guess the media think people will relate more to people like them.

All in all, they've got a tough job to do - it's got to be hard to get an editorial balance. At the end of the day, if you don't like the way they do it, blog something better.

30 Dec 2004 | starvingartist said...

At least CNN didn't plaster it as the front page news.

03 Jan 2005 | alex said...

i'am happy that god saved you,petra
wish you will recover very soon.
we love you

03 Jan 2005 | alex said...

i'am happy that god saved you,petra
wish you will recover very soon.
we love you

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