Reporting Cyclone Nargis

DSC05551, originally uploaded by Azmil77.

Russell Boyce is in charge of the Asia picture desk at Reuters. Yesterday, he says, was a “tough day”. He is, of course, referring to Cyclone Nargis that ripped through Burma with a final death toll that could reach 100,000. Russell talks about the day on the Asia desk on the Reuters photography blog. He is flabbergasted at some reactions,

The day was a stream of planning meetings, coordination with text and TV meetings, safety meetings, negotiations with wide eyed tourists all believing they had shot a million dollar picture, editing and captioning the results, trying to find staff with the requisite experience for the conditions, stroking those who had volunteered but lacked the experience and speaking to the photographers on the ground (compared to whom my day was a walk in the park – no power, no water, no food was the least of their worries).
So what was all this stressing about? The bottom line is to tell the story, honestly, fairly and objectively so the rest of the world can see something of this disaster in one of the most closed and oppressively run countries in the world.
At the end of yesterday I went home believing that a caring world knew about what was going on.
Once at home, after explaining to my 12 year old son why so many had died in a cyclone, I browsed a few of the international news sites to see how the world was reacting to something I felt was the most important news event of the day.
The first blog I read under a slide show of pictures on a major US news site read (I paraphrase as it has been removed now) “why should we care about this dirty little washed up country and who gives a damn anyway”
This comment on the blog chilled me, not because it was there but because it was supported by many other comments. link