Harli Stockwell: Are we becoming numb to trumped-up disaster coverage?

Published 11:19 pm Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I was watching the news last week, listening closely to the devastating tornado stories, but I came to a realization a few days later: No one seems to care.

After almost every disaster these days, whether it’s national or international, the average population of my peers — students — and even some of the adults that I’m around don’t seem to care.

The story itself, which is broadcast by every news station around, is dramatized beyond all normal boundaries and made to look almost like a theatrical movie more than an actual event.

You have the introduction, a purely dramatic beginning to the plot.

Then comes the imagery, where a clip of one of the most horrific parts is broadcast.

After that is the actual relevant and factual information, but it’s ended with more clips of damage.

All of this is a ploy to get the viewer interested, but after the fact. The viewer doesn’t actually seem to care.

They may say sentimental things like “That’s terrible.” Or “That’s unfortunate.” And though they seem to be concerned, we all know that no one these days actually is, with the exception of church groups, international organizations such as the Red Cross and missionaries.

So, in order for the general population to be interested these days, the story has to be dramatized and over-sold to the point where a solution or plan of action to help is never given.

However, years ago, before I can remember, the actual help was more important than the story. What happened?

Harli Stockwell is a senior at Union High School.