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More disasters? Or just more Media?

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  • More disasters? Or just more Media?

    Do you think we are suffering through more disasters or is it a matter of more media with round the clock coverage? I was trying to think about to when I was a kid although I remember the San Francisco quake of '89, I don't really remember hearing about international disasters. In '85 we had Live Aid for Africa's famine, so that was something that was highly publicized. But my memory does not conjure international events being as often as we have now.

    What are your thoughts?

  • #2
    I think that the number of disasters, especially natural disasters, has been increased in the past years, at least that is my impression. On the other hand, media love to report bad news, so I also think that the media talk more and more about these disasters, so this create the impression on us that there are even more than what in reality is happening.

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    • #3
      Media is bad news. Most channels only care about their ratings. So, they show that stuff which they know a lot of people would watch. Only a fool believes everything the media says. Having a free and open mind is the best way to tackle this situation.

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      • #4
        I've wondered about this myself...I do think there's slightly more a sense of 'global community' now, and we're much more interconnected and likely to hear about far away disasters, so that probably contributes to the feeling. I think the media is a lot more likely to harp on the bad news 24/7 as well, and really play up some things to seem disastrous that aren't necessarily that bad. But there probably are some events that are just genuinely more frequent in recent times as well, natural disasters come to mind for me.

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        • #5
          I believe it is definitely MORE media, not more disasters. Thought I guess, some years there are more, but I don't believe back in the 80's there was significantly less disasters at all. We just didn't hear much about the ones that were closer to home.

          This can apply to other issues as well, such as crime. For example, people seem to think that there are more pedophiles/sex offenders in the world today than in the 1950's but in the reality children' were more at risk at being sexually abused back then that today. Don't get me wrong, there is a still a risk today of course, but not nearly as high as in the 50's, 40's,60's etc. Back then it was more common and often the pedophiles were NEVER CAUGHT, and in some cases when the victims made an outcry, no one believed them. Because of the media, it seems worse today, but actually children are safer than then. Even in the 1800's it was bad - in fact slave owners would rape the children of their slaves.

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          • #6
            I believe it is more disasters rather than media. The climate of the world has been changed over the last decade because of the global heat. The global heat causes an imbalance of world climate. There are droughts in some parts of the world, but flooding and excessive rain in tropical zones. There is extreme weather too. Some places are cooler with severe snowing than before while the tropical zones are much hotter. Farming is affected. It is an inevitable trend that natural disasters are increasing.

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            • #7
              Your query got me thinking, and made me realize just how old I am (LOL), I remember when there were only 13 channels and UHF. News coverage of disasters that you heard about were primarily about what was going on in the US only. Information of disasters in other countries was not readily available EXCEPT in newspapers and even then the information was minimal. It was not until sometime during the 90's that information on disasters in other countries started popping up in news cast. Then the explosion of the web throughout the globe made the information readily available to everyone.

              There has been some increase in the disasters that have been happening, this can be seen just by the lack of preparation areas have for these events occurring proving that this has not occurred before or rarely occurs. However, media coverage makes it seem to have increased more significantly then it has because of the fact we are now seeing things global rather then nationally.

              Hope that helps answer you question.

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              • #8
                I had been wondering about this topic too, just because of all the media hysteria about disasters. Out of curiosity, I chose a decade (the 60's, simply because that's when I was born) and started researching storms, disasters, and the like. What I found were frequent and severe disasters, both in the US and worldwide. Many of them were worst-ever, or in the top ten for their respective types. I'm sure you could do similar research for other decades and find a lot of similar information. Much is made of record-setting damage from storms, fires, etc. these days, but that is simply due to the inflated dollar and higher population density.
                The two magnitude 9+ (and several 8+) earthquakes in the 60s dwarf anything we have seen recently. The multiple category 5 hurricanes were extremely destructive, as were the many severe tornado outbreaks, floods, blizzards, and so on. There was even a flu pandemic in 68-69 that killed approximately one million people. Imagine the media reaction if that happened today!
                I could go on and on about the many storms, fires, and pestilence of the 60s (or any other decade I chose to research). The point being, every little thing is exaggerated and broadcast everywhere now. I don't mean to downplay the impact of any current disaster, but it used to be that it had to be extremely severe and/or widespread to rate any real media attention. And fires and droughts have been a danger down through the ages; it's just that now more areas threatened by them are populated. So no, we aren't seeing more disasters these days. If anything, there has been a decrease in some events such as hurricanes. But don't take my word for it - do a little digging and see for yourself.

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                • kevinkimers
                  kevinkimers commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Good job researching, but I can tell you there has been an increase in hurricane activity over the past 38 years for fact. I grew up in hurricane country from the time I was two and hurricanes were not that bad back then, there were a few but there were more tropical storms then hurricanes. It wasn't until I was in my 20's that the hurricane rate increased. I was in Florida when 4 hit us back to back. So there has been increase in weather severity over time, but not as significantly as people may think. I think is also may have something to do with the type of disasters also. Earthquakes as far as I know have not increased, but Tsunamis seem to be more frequent and violent then they were before. Not fully sure about it though.
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