I was talking to some friend photographers the other day about the situation in Haiti.
There are 100 or so planes landing there every day, bringing in food, supplies, aid workers, volunteers, doctors, soldiers, equipment and medicines.
They also bring media teams from all over the world and from hundreds of broadcasting agencies; Correspondents, cameramen, soundmen, photographers, make-up, technicians, logistics, satellite dishes, computers, cameras, dollies, booms, tripods, luggage.
The media plays a very important role in these crisis situations: It brings the information and the views from the scene to the rest of the world and amongst other things, this is what make us couch potatoes pick up the phone, or go online, pull our credit cards and donate money to one NGO or another and by doing so, allowing these organisations to be able to provide the supplies and help to these poor people who are being struck by earthquakes, flooding, droughts etc.
However, if we consider the weight of each of these people with their luggage, gear, food, accommodations, expenses and/ or the space they take on a plane, the question that needs to be asked is whether or not they are all essential to the rescue/ aid mission in the big picture or would it be better if those 120Kg are replaced with 120Kg of supplies or another aid worker with their luggage?
What if, there was a limit to the number of agencies covering the “event”? For example only One major agency from each country is allowed in under a condition that forces it to share the information and footage/ photos with its country peers. Or perhaps even one agency to represent every major language?
I could be wrong and it may well be a very naive point of view, but an exercise in rough math will quickly show us the high cost of media coverage that might have its money better spent on actual aid…
Today I started training for my next charity ride, taking place on April 25th in Dorset, on the South Coast of England.
66 miles along some beautiful country lanes. This might not sound like allot but learning from the last one I did in July 2009, I would like it to be an easy, fun ride, rather than an exhausting one-off. So the plan to gradually extend the rides until 50 miles are easily done.
Trouble is, of course…time…and the next 2-3 months are going to be very busy, work wise…I already have 3-4 trips set for the next month or so and there are a few events taking place in March which I will be attending as well, so the trainers are going into the trolley tomorrow and next week I’ll be trying 6am runs in the streets of Copenhagen. Should be fun at -5ºc 🙂
I have set up a fundraising page. A link for it is on the Right hand side of this one. There are thousands of fundraising organisations in the UK and it is always difficult to choose the one you would like to take part in. BHF is committed to fighting against heart disease, which is exactly what I’ve been personally doing for the last 4 decades.