Written by World and Media
Media inattention towards Horn of Africa crisis 'inconceivable' and 'wrong'
The Horn of Africa is facing its worst drought in sixty years. But despite some notable journalism, the crisis has struggled to obtain media coverage and raise sufficient funds from donors. It now risks becoming a "hidden emergency", says relief and development agency Concern.
In July and August, the famine accounted for just 0.7% of mainstream media news coverage in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.
For man-made reasons, the emergency in Somalia is particularly severe. Yet, Google indexes only 70% more news stories about "famine" in Somalia in 2011 to-date than stories about its pirates (4,770 vs. 2,770).
Social media and Internet traffic figures suggest that the public is also paying little attention to the humanitarian emergency.
Yesterday (September 21), Concern Worldwide warned that the drought and conflict-induced hunger and nutrition crisis in the Horn of Africa is already dropping off the news headlines just as the imminent rainy season "threatens to exacerbate an already dire situation affecting nearly 12 million people in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia."