I tried to go over and see the downed bridge yesterday, but the police have blocked off access to all the obvious observation points. Which seems a bit misguided, given the hundreds of thousands of people who have some personal connection to the bridge, if only from driving over it thousands of times.
Meanwhile, Just to keep things in perspective, consider this: A bridge collapses in Minneapolis, killing at least five people and (it was thought at one time) as many as 30. It gets intense international media coverage, including television coverage from as far away as Japan.
Then yesterday, a train derailed in Congo, killing 100 people.
It merited a 10-line brief in my paper's world roundup.
For local media, it makes sense to focus on local events. And given that the bridge collapse occurred here, it makes sense that my paper would obsess over it. But I'm pretty sure the treatment would have been the same regardless. And I'm sure other papers had extensive coverage of the bridge collapse and the same short brief on the Congo crash -- if they mentioned it at all.
Again, for national media, it makes sense to pay more attention to homegrown events than things happening overseas. And for everyone, it's easier to get interested in stories where there is plenty of riveting video.
So this isn't an attempt to bash the media. But at the end of the day, 10 or 20 times as many people died in what must have been a horrific crash in Congo. Our local tragedy doesn't even begin to compare.
Count your blessings.
disaster, Minnesota, midtopia