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tsunami3 torill mortensen remote_a made sauseschritt aware of an article already published in 1986. "natural disasters" is a critical media analysis in the field of cultural studies and worth remote_a reading, especially now, when we are faced with media coverage on the recent desaster: earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods all strike and kill ordinary people. an appropriate measure of the severity of the disaster is the total number of people who lost their lives. the initial hypothesis to be tested is that the amount of attention u.s. television news devotes to a natural disaster reflects the magnitude of that disaster. Is it true, as sreberny-mohammadi (18) wrote, that "coups and catastrophes [are] newsworthy wherever they occur"? or does the locale of the catastrophe make all the difference in the world? a commonly used formulation raises these questions in a dramatic way: "a hundred pakistanis going off a mountain in a bus makes less of a story than three englishmen drowning in the thames" (13); "one dead fireman in brooklyn is worth five english bobbies, who are worth 50 arabs, who are worth 500 africans" (5); "one thousand wogs, fifty frogs, and one briton" (17). to what degree are these cynical ratios accurate?


 

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