Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Little pieces of a big picture

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  • Jackie Clark,

    I thought twitter was a fantastic way of making sure people were okay - it was lovely to have that communal anxiety and then relief. I had TVOne on all day as well as sitting at the Mac keeping on top of it. I made one phonecall to a friend who was not online at all the entire time, and funnily enough, found that disquieting. I suppose people were texting her, but I found the online thing more immediate.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    The earthquake magnitude data, visualised by Chris McDowell on his nifty new SciBlog, and then animated in gif form by John Fouhy.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    So reports of "looting" now means two thieving people in isolated incidents. With hyperbole like that, the MSM would probably define masturbation as an orgy.

    The internets save the world, again.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    So reports of "looting" now means two thieving people in isolated incidents. With hyperbole like that, the MSM would probably define masturbation as an orgy.

    Forget it, Zippy. It's The Herald.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Stead,

    Twitter was legend. Picked up on the quake here in Blighty about 15 minutes in via various RT's. Nothing on Herald/Stuff/TVNZ etc for ages - was their newsdesk asleep or what? (I guess so).

    Then we sat glued to the trendmap for hours, and to RNZ via web. What I'd love to know is how many of these on-the-ground tweets were via mobile. Russ, how about hitting up TNZ/Voda for some mobile data stats? The beauty of mobile is that if your local cell site goes down due to a cut data circuit, you probably have overlapping coverage (outdoors, anyway). And as we know, batteries last about 4hrs on urban sites.

    Hampshire, UK • Since Nov 2006 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Mellopuffy,

    Hmm interesting that you though the SST did it right Russell, the opinions round the lunch table down here was it was a bit 'third world disaster' images, kinda like the picture of the chap walking past some ruined shops wearing a facemask. I was onto RNZ online within minutes of the quake, but for a long time the live stream just seemed to be playing some recording of Jim Mora, maybe i'm doing it wrong?

    Dunedin, NZ • Since Feb 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Lea Barker,

    Very enlightening post for such an iDinosaur as myself. I'm so Olde Media, I didn't learn of the earthquake until after 5pm Pacific Time on the bus on my way home from work, when I finally got to read my email. A friend in DC told me about it. Old klutz that I am, I went to the Reuters mobile website, and it didn't even occur to me to look at Twitter.

    Today I've been looking at the NZH photos and I'm just gobsmacked by the damage to the roads and railway lines. The damage to brick buildings and facades isn't so surprising but, that said, it must have been terrifying to live through.

    The "state of emergency" made it to the CBS network evening news, but no mention was made of NZ turning down help from the US forces based in Hawaii.

    Oakland, CA • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Scary thing, I didn't know anything at all about any of it until Saturday night. I'd have expected someone to have mentioned it to me. It was actually quite difficult to form a picture of what had happened for quite a while, everything was just isolated bits of information. In the end I had to go to foreign papers to get the overview.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8592 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    I had to flinch with the Sunday Times Dom piccy of a wee little dark skinned gilr "playing in the rubble".

    Hmmm....I wonder how long it took the photographer to get her to squat there!!

    A loaded picture if ever i saw one.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1497 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    A loaded picture if ever i saw one.

    Maybe, I haven't seen it but, I would portray any child not being phased because, if ya kids panic, the adults do and what's the point of that? So, show kids playing and encourage others to take it in their stride. Keep everyone cruising, helping each other, staying clean, Don't panic it will be ok. This is nothing compared to other parts of the world, and on telly, all those other kids can smile in the most devastating places on earth.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6269 posts Report Reply

  • Mellopuffy,

    @Sofie a particularly interesting choice of photo considering the great number I've seen of kids playing in the cracks and holes - it was very evocative of an impoverished child squatting at the site of a third world disaster. only difference i guess was that she was happily grinning from memory... twas on the cover of the SST as well, hence my earlier comment...

    Dunedin, NZ • Since Feb 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A loaded picture if ever i saw one.

    I can see see what you mean, but I honestly didn't take it that way.

    So it wouldn't have been "loaded" if they had chosen a white child instead? That seems a bit odd, really. Can they not just choose a good picture without any racial dimension at all?

    I saw it in more in the way that Sofie suggests.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I should note also that the girl on the front page of the SST is called Mylo McKee. That's not a very third-world sort of a name.

    I think there's a danger of over-thinking what you think you see there ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Mellopuffy,

    Russell, not so much that that she wasn't white, just the combo of her skin colour, squatting pose, lei around her neck - it just reminded me immediately of photos i've seen before in coverage of international disasters...so perhaps we could accuse the SST of resorting to disastercliche?

    Dunedin, NZ • Since Feb 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    I just KNEW I shouldn't have mentioned the "perceived" colour of her skin. I just knew.

    Mellopuffy got the gist of what I meant.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1497 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    But yes, in defence of the rest of the SST coverage. They played it pretty straight down the line.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1497 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    Was anything in Christchurch not damaged? I've heard rumours.

    I know with this kind of event it's normal for media, and everyone, to focus on damage, and understandably. It can sometimes give a skewed picture of things though.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 433 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    .a particularly interesting choice of photo considering the great number I've seen of kids playing in the cracks and holes -

    Well yes, but as you have seen I did too all the way up here in Auckland so it wasn't the first photo, it was a kid ( probably pj's although that could look like a poor kid but seriously, don't assume, it makes an ass, yadda yadda yadda...) If it helps , I saw lots of adults in cracks as well. Don't look for loaded.This seems to be a very good example of a country with a six degrees situation. Everyone knows someone affected. Hell, my Aunty hasn't responded but she works for St Johns Ambulance so I will not surmise because that's how she rolls. She's busy. The best photos ( I have professionals in my family) will conjure up many opinions but i would offer, don't support "the loaded", if you do that, you will enable it. If you care ,email the paper, ask if she/he is in any need and help. Jus' sayin.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6269 posts Report Reply

  • Mellopuffy,

    @izogi plenty of places not damaged. my folks home is unscathed. Friends that lived out at Darfield - no structural damage at all , one glass in the cupboard broken that's all - 2 houses across, their neighbour's home been written off from structural damage (both houses built within last 5 years)....

    Dunedin, NZ • Since Feb 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    It was the kid in the rubble. Not the cracks. I was pretty specific I thought. Anyway, it was a comment.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1497 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Hey Ross, it's okay, Mine was just a comment too. :) As you were.:)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6269 posts Report Reply

  • Mellopuffy,

    @Sofie bit confused by your comments, guess I'm just disappointed by the tendency of the papers to go for the screaming headlines (though as Ross pointed out, SST did otherwise go pretty much down the line) and of all the photos they could have chosen to run with, it was kinda bizarre, and not particularly inspired to see a photo that so obviously referenced the type of pics that tipify disasterpron...

    Dunedin, NZ • Since Feb 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Mellopuffy,

    ps posted that before both your and Ross's latest comments came up...

    Dunedin, NZ • Since Feb 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    @Mellopuffy -- Thanks for that. I'm sure the infrastructure damage and the CBD damage will reach everyone to an extent in one way or another for a long time to come, even if there's no serious personal property damage. Skimming overseas media, though, the reporting often seems to be based around recurring pictures of a specific selection of actual damage (car crunched by bricks, wall fallen off restaurant, floods in New Brighton seen from the air, etc). Looking at it I've had some trouble figuring out how representative it all is.

    Our Chilean friends were very concerned. All they'd heard was that a major earthquake had caused extensive damage in New Zealand, and of course they're still very jumpy about earthquakes over there at the moment. (The 100,000 person town where my wife spent 6th form had its town centre pretty much destroyed back in February, and that town wasn't even serious enough to make international media.)

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 433 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Stream of consciousness innit? :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6269 posts Report Reply

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