Thoughts on Haiti (and other places)

I think it was Sunday morning on Radio 4 that I heard the presenter saying, “And now we will go over to our man or the Representative in…” (not Haiti) and the voice was rich African.  Not an English BBC accent but clearly a local. (I can’t remember if it was the BBC or some organisation like Christian Aid.) Anyway it occurred to me that it was such a shock to hear that the representative was clearly from that country.

Then I watch the news and each channel has a journalist over in Haiti.  Did they take their own food and drink, I wonder? Or are they using up valuable local resources?  Tonight I heard one man saying it was so hot he had been drinking bottles of water all day and then in the next breath said that they urgently needed water.  Ironic, or what?

Perhaps our licence fee would be greatly reduced if we used local people instead of sending men (and yes, it is usually men) over, at great cost no doubt, to use up much needed resources.

Made me think of that wonderful programme that used to be on – Drop the Dead Donkey. But this is not funny.

Rant over.

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8 thoughts on “Thoughts on Haiti (and other places)

  1. I’m now scared because I thought exactly the same last night. I asked Mr Agatha if he thought they had taken their own sandwiches. That was having seen the BBC 10 o’clock news had not one but two reporters there. I dpn’t mind that they are running up the licence fee but if they are depriving the child I sponsor in Haiti of something she needs I will be letting them know what I think in no uncertain terms.

    Funny though that this has never crossed my mind in previous disasters.

  2. Same thoughts crossed my mind too. I have also noticed that even where they have perfectly good reporters in a location (usually quite junior ones mainly with the World service I should think) as soon as something big happens they fly out a leading newscaster who could do just as well asking the junior reporter pertinant questions from his studio in London (Why always London? I bet they even send London reporters up to Edinburgh if something really major happens in Scotland – or Belfast or Cardiff – like English pundits commenting on the new Bishop of Glasgow.)

  3. Myself & E had the same thought after exactly that line “I’ve been drinking bottles of water all day” – what a plonker (other vernacular words are available) – I quite often listen to the world service, after the shipping forecast, and they have some really good local reporters.

    On the charity front I still have concerns about giving to some of the global charities that pile resources from one disaster to the next – do they have to wait, like vultures, or are all the people volunteers who can drop everything – and I know that some of the charities have huge overheads which means only 60p of every £1 is used for charitable purposes…. but then I don’t usually buy charity Christmas cards either

    I couldn’t possibly comment on the English bias of BBC reporting 🙂 but hey you’ve got BBC Alba for all your Gaelic needs.

  4. The BBC did indeed send a London based reporter to Scotland to cover the election of the new Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway.

    At least one of the news agencies also sent a satellite-equipped car from London to Great Western Road for the occassion.

  5. Ian, we have supported Mary’s Meals in the past. They are a Scottish charity that operate from a shed in someone’s garden. Google them. Their overheads are minimal and we reckon most of our money goes to the cause. And they have a project in Haiti. (I feel the same as you about the bigger charities.)

  6. Pingback: Two Left Hands

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