Norwegian media under fire for ‘ignoring’ global catastrophes / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian media under fire for ‘ignoring’ global catastrophes. A medical aid organisation accuses most of the Norwegian media for not doing its job properly when it comes to reporting global human crises. “We get very frustrated after getting back from working as doctors in the field when we see there has been no coverage of many of these [crises],” Doctor Morten Rostrup of Leger Uten Grenser, the Norwegian arm of Médecins Sans Frontières, tells The Foreigner. He argues media attention is very important for these crises to change, and blames the press for its shortsightedness.

medecinssansfrontieres, legerutengrenser, norwegianmediareporting



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Norwegian media under fire for ‘ignoring’ global catastrophes

Published on Monday, 11th July, 2011 at 14:39 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 12th July 2011 at 16:13.

A medical aid organisation accuses most of the Norwegian media for not doing its job properly when it comes to reporting global human crises.

Rohingya refugee in Bangladesh
Rohingya refugee in Bangladesh
Photo: Juan Carlos Tomasi/Leger Uten Grenser


“We get very frustrated after getting back from working as doctors in the field when we see there has been no coverage of many of these [crises],” Doctor Morten Rostrup of Leger Uten Grenser, the Norwegian arm of Médecins Sans Frontières, tells The Foreigner.

He argues media attention is very important for these crises to change, and blames the press for its shortsightedness.

“Basically, the media only reports on these if either Norway or Norwegians are involved, which also leads to no political interest. It blames lack of resources, the need for quick, pertinent news, even small travel budgets.”

Results of an opinion poll conducted by Norstat show many Norwegians want more facts. Dr Rostrup finds it puzzling why, therefore, so little reporting is done.

“The Norwegian media are reticent or uninterested in increased coverage because it thinks people will become saturated with information. However, approximately 150,000 followers on Facebook in Norway clearly shows many think otherwise,” he says.

Throwing down the gauntlet for a change in dynamic and a wider debate, the doctor refers to a preliminary list of ten crises where he feels the Norwegian media has failed.

The organisation refers to over 200,000 of the Rohingya people having fled from their home country of Myanmar (Burma), now living in Bangladeshi refugee camps without rights, healthcare, and papers.

More than 300,000 Colombians have been internally displaced because of the drug-war. 350,000 persons are displaced in the Central African Republic. Famine, war, rapes, and epidemics have hit the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tuberculosis kills approximately 5,000 people each day, with the multi-resistant strain on the increase. 9 million people worldwide are diagnosed as HIV-positive and are waiting for treatment. Over 100,000 die each year, and 10 million are infected with neglected diseases such as Chagas disease, kala-azar, and Sleeping sickness. A shortage of vaccines kills more than 3 million people annually. Norway gives money to GAVI.

The child mortality rate in Somalia, known for its piracy, is extreme, with one in five children dying before its fifth birthday. 195 million children in the world suffer from malnutrition.

“It’s all about sharing information. I believe the way forward is to draw attention to these crises, ask people and the politicians to get involved,” says Dr Morten Rostrup, continuing, “why does Norway take no interest in the Central African Republic, for example?”




Published on Monday, 11th July, 2011 at 14:39 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 12th July 2011 at 16:13.

This post has the following tags: medecinssansfrontieres, legerutengrenser, norwegianmediareporting.


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