Wednesday, December 29, 2004

U.S. Assistance to Tsuami Victims

CNN and Fox News ran stories on the administration’s reaction to a statement about tsunami relief donations that was made by the U.N. humanitarian aid chief, Jan Egeland: "It is beyond me why we are so stingy, really." CNN ran an AP story and Fox did their own story to which the AP contributed. Both articles talk about the efforts being made by the U.S.

Fox headline is “Powell Defends U.S. Disaster Aid.” The focus is on Secretary Powell and others’ reactions and comments. Powell had appeared on a Fox News show.

CNN’s headline is “Stingy Americans? U.N. official's comment hits nerve.” Powell is mentioned twice and does not have the focus that Fox gave him. CNN’s second sentence was this: “The comment reopened the question of how to measure American generosity. The answer ultimately depends on the measuring stick.” The article later talks about donations per GNP, where the U.S. does not rank as high, and a measure used by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that ranks the U.S. last. Fox mentions only the amounts donated. CNN also quotes USAID chief, Andrew Natsios, as saying that his agency is out of money with the immediate donations and will have to ask for more.

Why did Fox not include the information about other measuring sticks? Why is it so prominent in CNN’s article? Are there other ways to measure?

Links to the articles:,2933,142719,00.html

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