Friday, January 15, 2010


News of China, Cuba’s rescue effort in Haiti largely disappeared from US reporting

by Larry Geller

No mention of China’s relief effort in today’s Advertiser story, Relief trickle in. But the omission seems to be widespread in US reporting. You have to go to AFP and other foreign sources to learn even a little.

AFP (Agence France-Presse) reported yesterday:

A planeload of Chinese soldiers led the start of a flow of aid into the Caribbean nation of Haiti early Thursday, two days after it was devastated by a powerful earthquake.

Chinese military unloaded 20 tonnes of relief supplies from an Air China flight under the watch of UN Chinese soldiers.

Some 50 Chinese rescue personnel and three sniffer dogs left in minibuses emblazoned with the UN logo, heading into scenes of devastation and despair.

Googling through the news stories, I find lines like this from the WSJ:

As military and rescue teams began to stream in Thursday from the U.S. and other countries,…

Actually, China was on the ground late Wednesday, but you would not find that from AP or US reports. No, I haven’t checked all of them. And just try to find reference to Cuba’s medical mission in US reports.

Here is a snip from a Thursday report from the BBC:

A few US aid planes and a 50-strong Chinese rescue team with sniffer dogs have landed at the airport serving the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Cuba already had more than 300 doctors in Haiti before the earthquake and they have been treating the injured in field hospitals.

Other plane-loads of rescuers and relief supplies are on the way from the EU, Canada, Russia and Latin American nations.

A British rescue team with heavy lifting gear and dogs has now arrived in Haiti.

From the New Zealand Herald:

China sent a chartered plane carrying 10 tonnes of tents, food, medical equipment and sniffer dogs, with a 60-member earthquake relief team who worked in China's own 2008 earthquake, which killed 90,000 people.

CNN mentioned China in an early Wednesday article, before aid had arrived.

Ah, there is detailed coverage of China’s rapid response to the tragedy:

China's rescue team in Haiti had established the first movable medical point by 9:00 a.m. local time on Thursday and provided medical aid to 110 injured Haitians, according to sources with the country's General Hospital of Armed Police Forces.

… but that’s from Xinhua.

One AP story included a picture on the web page of the Chinese rescue team getting ready to depart Beijing, but nothing in the story itself.

This may relate to why print journalism is declining in this country. You’re better off reading AFP (seldom used by US papers which don’t want to pay the fee for their wire service) and foreign reports. Fortunately, we have the Internet, Google News, or your favorite European newspaper online.


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I would probably not read too much into that one, every country is loading ships and planes as we write this and are heading towards Haiti, and the US news is not reporting on that. The US citizen is not interested in anything abroad, well, most of the times not even what happens in his/her own country. The mainstream media in America is worthless and well all know it.

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