Mumbai underwater but all eyes are on Houston?
Europe's media have widely covered the flooding in Texas and Louisiana but written comparatively little about the far heavier floods that have claimed more than 1,500 lives in India, Nepal and Bangladesh since June. Commentators look at what such biassed reporting says about Europe's values.
A little more balance would go a long way
The Süddeutsche Zeitung finds the unbalanced reporting of Western media disturbing:
“Perhaps the Europeans have still not freed themselves from their post-colonial arrogance, perhaps they still see the world through racist eyes without admitting it. Because to put it cynically: hundreds of Bangladeshi peasants have to drown before Western media pay as much attention to them as they do to a single victim in the West. ... Certainly, it will never be possible to pay all victims the same respect. But a little more balance would go a long way. It would be a sign that the rich world of the West holds human dignity for universal and indivisible.”
Anything but normal
Helsingin Sanomat also believes that Western news reporting gives a distorted image:
“In India there was no hurricane; it was the annual monsoon. This year, however, it was the strongest monsoon for decades. ... Saying nothing about the floods in India gives the impression that both the floods and the related distress are normal there. But they aren't. And the human suffering is the same in Mumbai as in Houston. Both disaster happened in a world that is adapting to the consequences of climate change and assessing them on the basis of unusual weather patterns. They're part of a story.”