Large earthquake, no-one local hurt

A list of stories run in today’s Sydney Daily Telegraph further forward than its coverage of the hundreds of thousands dead in Haiti:

  1. Confirmation Dannii Minogue is pregnant
  2. What Prince William will have for lunch in Sydney next week
  3. Stuffed koala goes on display at Melbourne Museum
  4. The price of avocados
  5. Man working on Sydney Festival once met Grace Jones
  6. Mugged policewoman’s hand is better
  7. Turtles seen off NSW coast
  8. Nice garden in Newtown
  9. Tree hunger strike ends
  10. Police concerns over drinking on Australia Day
  11. VB’s decline
  12. Jessica Watson’s yacht trip
  13. Missing canyoners
  14. Potential cricket disruptions in India
  15. Christmas Island detention centre overcrowded
  16. Carjacking in Sydney
  17. Alleged murderer in court
  18. Police want crackdown on car chase criminals
  19. Avis refunds customers
  20. Firefighter’s commendation
  21. Pilot’s licence may be cancelled
  22. Baby boy reported missing
  23. Government urged to lock syringe dispensers
  24. Disabled kids disadvantaged
  25. Aussie soldiers in Afghanistan
  26. Councillors’ pay
  27. Councillor works from another state
  28. Airport parking
  29. Holden US tie-in
  30. Gas leak
  31. Boy feared drowned
  32. Cost of MP’s sacking

The Telegraph’s coverage (three half pages) of the Haiti disaster begins on page 18 after a teaser pic on page 7.

By contrast, the story dominates the front and back page of News Ltd stablemate The Australian’s main section and the front page of its second section too.

The Sydney Morning Herald also puts the story on its front page. The Australian Financial Review gives it six paragraphs on page 10.

Dr Mumbo would be intrigued to hear from newspaper readers elsewhere in the country on how it’s being covered.


  1. Paul
    14 Jan 10
    8:27 am

  2. This is an excellent piece of analysis and shows just how parochial the tabloid media can be. Unfortunately even the serious media in Australia can’t help but prioritise the “a handful of Aussies have not answered their phones” angle.

    The UK media is so much better – focusing on the very real and enormous tragedy which should affect us all and not the narrow local angle. There is exactly one story on Google news referring to the lack of dead or missing Britons in Haiti, and that is from AFP.

  3. Paul
    14 Jan 10
    8:28 am

  4. P.S. Dannii Minogue is pregnant? I should really read the Tele more often!

  5. Sonny
    14 Jan 10
    8:40 am

  6. Can I say “bunch of cocks” on this website? What a bunch of cocks!

  7. Lawrie
    14 Jan 10
    8:55 am

  8. I don’t know what’s more woeful than the actual tragedy in Haiti – the lack of coverage in the newspaper or that people actually pay money to read what DT defines as ‘news’

  9. Beaudacious
    14 Jan 10
    9:11 am

  10. Hear hear!

  11. larry
    14 Jan 10
    9:12 am

  12. At the end of the day, all the Tele editors are doing are giving their readers what they want.

    No locals hurt, Haiti isn’t a tourist destination like a Phuket etc and most people don’t even know where it is. Hence – not a big issue.

    Don’t believe me – check the Top 10 most read on the tele website

    1. Cameraman hubby ditches Rahni
    2. Hollywood star burnt his penis
    3. Dannii Minogue is pregnant
    4. Cops want Australia Day grog ban
    5. New spin on Warnie’s break-up
    6. Brave Jessica rounds Cape Horn
    7. Is Ricky on the move
    8. Kimmorley wants three more years
    9. Michael Bisping’s diary: UFC in Sydney
    10. Beach fun for billionaire baby

    Just loving what editorial direction via pageview analysis is doing for journalism, as it means we are assured of only the very best content …

    I’m sure we can all agree that the Internet over the last 15 years has improved our mastheads and their approach to covering what really matters tenfold.

  13. Stuallrt Sheridan
    14 Jan 10
    9:49 am

  14. This is hardly Mumbrella news worthy, and certainly not a surprise at all when you think of the highly localised nature of the Daily Tabloid.

  15. Stephen Green
    14 Jan 10
    9:54 am

  16. Makes sense. There are two kinds of news readers and News already owns The Australian for those that care about world events. Particularly if they are looking to charge online for “Quality” news using The Australian’s masthead, what better way to drive the difference between the two services? If they ran with the same editorial standards, why pay for the Oz when you get the Tele for free……? If one heads for the AB demos and one heads for the suburbs, there’s a clear choice between your products therefore if you decide to charge for one, you can. If the editors seriously think their demo of readers would rather know what Prince William has for lunch than a tragedy killing thousands and thousands of people and they are right, then we clearly haven’t evolved as a society as far as I’d hoped.

  17. Nigel Preston
    14 Jan 10
    10:46 am

  18. This is pretty amazing, and yet kinda understandable too.

    Do people want to be told about happy / entertainment stories – or – people they’ve never met devastated or killed by natural disasters. Most DT readers will want to read about the first one, but feel obliged to read the second.

    I don’t think there was a lot of resources coming out of Haiti and maybe they thought they’d have a bet each way with the Aussie. I had a read of their A Plus section this morning and it was really well written about Haiti.

  19. SimonB
    14 Jan 10
    10:48 am

  20. Just heard this on ABC Local Radio (don’t you love that tag, but that’s another story):

    Incoming Presenter – “… the devastation in Haiti is terrible – although it only made page 12 of The West Australian.”

    Outgoing Presenter – “Yes, very strange…”

    So, we’re not the only ones who think it’s bizarre. Maybe it’s because there aren’t enough “good” pictures yet?

  21. Sam
    14 Jan 10
    11:15 am

  22. Madonna King’s summary on this morning’s Today was that the news out of Haiti was ‘heartwarming’ because an Australian aid worker phoned her concerned mother.

  23. Fred Friendly
    14 Jan 10
    11:21 am

  24. I’m guessing page 18 is the start of the “international news” section, no?

  25. Darren the Waving Goat
    14 Jan 10
    3:02 pm

  26. The Fairfax online news sites – where video of Darren the Waving Goat outranks footage of the earthquake aftermath – aren’t much better. Still, it’s much more fun to bash the Tele.

  27. martin turner
    15 Jan 10
    11:59 am

  28. I can guarantee your average daily telegraph reader has never heard of Hati, and would have no idea where its located, so why do a story on a country unless Aussie battlers, or diggers were injured or trapped there?.Its the most parochial jingoistic rag, based purley on tabloid trash, sleaze, and nationalism, thanks David Pemberton for contributing to the stupidity of this country.

  29. Outdoor Avenger
    15 Jan 10
    12:15 pm

  30. I am also disgusted with Madonna Kings interview on CH 9. She was elated when she spoke of the one aussie who’s alive while pictures of the horrors flicked across the TV. DISGUSTING

  31. Smithee
    18 Jan 10
    8:40 pm

  32. Haiti is all very sad, a tragedy, a terrible disaster etc, but it’s an earthquake. All earthquake disasters follow exactly the same script and I’ve read about several dozen over the years now.

    - There’s the initial sketchy reports where media guess at the death toll
    - Then we get the “X country pledges X amount in aid”
    - How can YOU help, donate here or here
    - Death toll starts firming up a bit, earlier exagerations scaled back
    - Aid not arriving fast enough
    - Handful of Australians are dead / rescued / injured /missing
    - Miracle survival tale after X days in the rubble
    - No more expected to be rescued from rubble
    - Aid not arriving fast enough (again)
    - Final miracle survival tale
    - Sad story of how many years it will take to recover
    - Pledged aid hasn’t arrived
    - Congratulations for returning rescue and medical teams

    I’m not saying that this is any less of a tragedy, but it’s always the same script. I’m concerned but I’m simply not interested in saturation coverage.

    And while this may sound like a cynical reader point of view, I can assure you the media view is even more cynical. The adore big disasters – the story is easy to fathom and the sales and hits are wonderful. The tsunami was the best Christmas the media ever had.

  33. Tony Richardson
    20 Jan 10
    1:51 pm

  34. Sad eh?

    I guess that’s why we have the ABC and SBS … but hardly anyone watches them.


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