In today’s post-industrial era high performing economies have information technology and high value added services as their drivers of growth and for Pakistan to catch up, the long suppressed industrial and manufacturing sectors first need to be unleashed in order to provide the unemployed masses with jobs and promote innovation.
[Cross-posted from PakReport Blog, written by Jaro Valuch of Konpa Group]
It was clear pretty early after the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 that the disaster was exceptional in the scale of destruction as well as it was exceptional in the scale and type of response it triggered. Particularly unprecedential was the response from tech and crisis mapping community.
We have chronicled here on Aid Watch how media coverage of disasters influences disasters, and how late the US media has been to the story of the disastrous flood in Pakistan, with apparently anemic donor response as a result.
Puzzlement deepened this morning at 7:30 am when I picked up my NYT off my doorstep and saw the four column front-page headline: Much of Pakistan’s Progress is Lost in Its Floodwaters. The NYT devotes not only the huge front-page space to the flood, but also two prime pages inside of the first section. Could somebody please explain the mysterious alchemy by which a tragedy going on for a month already finally become a huge story?
The latest story on the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan is about how it hasn’t been a story.
Compared to the response to the Haitian earthquake, media coverage of the Pakistan floods has been paltry. While news coverage isn’t correlated with need, it does have a major effect on the amount of disaster relief aid given. An article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy yesterday reported that eleven US charities had so far raised only $5 million for Pakistan flood relief, compared to $560 million raised by 39 US groups in the two and a half weeks after the Haiti earthquake.