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Page added on September 30, 2009

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Famine: This time, it's personal

…On the 25th anniversary of the famine, it’s not just Ethiopia facing another disaster. Kenya, Somalia and other East African neighbours face a potential famine because of a perfect storm of crop failures, lack of rain, wars and internal political conflict. In 1984, eight million were people affected. Now it’s more than 20 million.

Clear the front pages! Dispatch the media teams! Cue the celebrities!

Or not.

How times have changed. A small handful of Canadian journalists are in East Africa getting the story, but don’t expect to see it on the front page. When informed of a hunger crisis in Africa, the average news assignment editor will most often politely respond: “Yes, but what’s the news?”

The average Canadian isn’t much different. A story about an abused puppy that has been rescued will have us jumping for the remote to bump the volume. Twenty million starving Africans is just the 10-second news clip we have to wait through to hear more about the puppy.

TheSpec.com



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