Although the Hartford Courant has been undergoing cutbacks and redesigns, it vows to remain a “journalistic force.” What does a journalistic force do when a major global news story breaks? Well, it depends. Hundreds are killed. More are wounded. This ongoing crisis is the result of terrorism. While 9/11 warranted immediate coverage, this is like apples and oranges, if you are part of Connecticut’s Journalistic Force. This story is occurring in Mumbai. Maybe the news team can’t find Mumbai on the map. Maybe it’s too far away, they think, for Americans to care.
Meanwhile, what do they do? On Thanksgiving Day, the main news items on the Courant website were related to a road race, part time jobs, and a pastor. These are the type of story expected to run on Thanksgiving, as they are done well in advance, or only need last minute pieces of information inserted to fill-in-the-blanks.
On the day after Thanksgiving, when more people are working (presumably), this story is pushed further down on the page online. What is more important than the lives of over 100 people? According to the Courant, what’s relevant to our lives is Black Friday and how many people were given tickets the past few days.
If this news outlet were not so full of itself, if it only covered local stories, then this oversight would be forgivable. Local blogs, for example, are local with a purpose and do not have the funds to pay for international correspondents, nor do we run AP stories as a rule. But there is an expectation that the news media will cover actual news, and not rank canned stories above those of international importance. This is unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable!
A few days ago, Colin McEnroe devoted time on his WTIC 1080 show to Twitter. During the course of the show, someone remarked that (and I’m paraphrasing) we should continue to trust the current media for our information, and not rely on Twitter. Not that I could trust the mainstream media before this, but to find out any information about the Mumbai crisis, I have been following people on Twitter who live in Mumbai and can help to evaluate which information being leaked is accurate or inaccurate. Why trust them? Why not? They at least have a sense of what is important.
For updates on what is going on in Mumbai, here are some suggested links, some of which are “traditional” sources, and some of which are not:
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