Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Why The Thai Cave Rescue Story Drew So Much Attention Compared To Other Crises and Events
For weeks we have seen every detail of the lives of those 12 boys who were rescued from that cave in Thailand. It was a remarkable story. It was a story with a happy ending. It was newsworthy. But where the minute by minute details and day long coverage really worth it?
In the last several years our mainstream news media seem to look for "heroes" they can honour for various acts of courage under siege, whether related to weather, terrorism or just plain old crime. It's as if our capitalist system has a deficit of heroes to worship and our mainstream news media is looking to fix that situation.
There are children in trouble all over the world. There are refugees, children who go hungry, children who live in deep poverty or other man-made forms of injustice. These children's stories could easily make good and important news stories. Also, the coach who took these children into a cave right before the rainy season, did something very stupid and yet he gets made into a hero.
The following story looks into the hype related to the kids in the cave story. This story asks a lot of good questions that a lot of journalists should have been asking. -SJ Otto
Like millions of global citizens, Abraham Leno has been riveted by the story of the 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in Thailand.
"I sat around the radio with my family and we wanted to hear the recent updates of the kids, every little detail," he says. "To see all the governments sending their best divers, giving them equipment, offering their moral support — it was a beautiful thing to see."
But Leno has another perspective. As a youth, he spent ten years in refugee camps in Guinea. Now working at the American Refugee Committee, he wishes that the media had paid more attention to his plight and his fellow refugees: "It would have shed a better light to create the understanding necessary to help us."
Others share his concerns. Manyang Reath Kher became a Lost Boy at age 3 and later founded the charity Humanity Helping Sudan. He says, "I don't want to sound horrible to those kids [in the cave], but the attention they got, it should be spread around. Give that to other children, too."
The aid community is grappling with that issue as well. While they all stress that they were deeply moved by the story of the boys in Thailand, they raise a point: Can the world bring the same level of care and resources to other children living in crisis? More than half a million Rohingya children live in camps in Bangladesh, for example, and 800 children die of malaria each day.
There are, of course, reasons why the cave story is so riveting.
For the rest click here.