First Diaries

Initially for my rantings, but now inspired by Illustration Friday!...We'll see how long this creative urge of mine will last...

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Disaster Relief

Sorry that this is a bit late for Illustration Friday. It's not only late, it's a bit sloppy (mixture of blue ballpoint pen, watercolour and Photoshop tips and tricks (Photoshop is with the help of PIMA of course, which left me gushing with "WOW!", "Splendid!" "Really...?!!!" "U THA best!"). BUT - I have grouses that are bursting out of me.

The pic above is supposed to illustrate the accompanying pic to headlines in the local newspapers nearly every day of last week after the tsunami tragedy started. I do not know whether this week is experiencing the same fate simply because I have stopped reading the newspapers this week for the reason you will find out below. I now only watch BBC and CNN on the telly and read the news on BBC and CNN websites to keep me updated with news on the tsunami tragedy. No printed material for me for awhile - i vowed, till the the media-hype as I am about to describe below, dies down, or rather, stop altogether.

The government, newspapers and various non-government organisations have set up charity funds to accept monetary donations from the public. I support this.

But what irked me last week was the fact that pictures of individuals representing corporations, handing over mock cheques to ministers and politicians etc. who are heading the various disaster relief funds, appear on the front pages and main pages of local newspapers. In addition, the names together with the corresponding sum of donations (only those that are higher than RM1,000) of donors to the newspapers' funds are listed daily in the respective newspapers.

It is as if the news of who-donated-how-much were equally important with the news of the victims themselves. The importance placed on the news of these donors does not seem to be necessary, I feel. It was like a competition between wealthy individuals, competing as to the sum that is being donated, and publicising the said gesture for whatever reasons. I know that at the end of the day, the victims would still benefit from the generous donations, but it still irked me as I can't help but feel as if certain groups of people are taking adavantage of this tragedy to publicise their generosity which perhaps is hoped to generate good publicity for the donors in the corporate world.

So, what exactly that irked me in this whole scenario, you may ask? The answer is two-fold:-
(i) The mock cheques; and
(ii)The ceremonies/functions (which I am sure have been carefully organised) in which the said mock cheques are presented (which of course MUST be in the presence of reporters and photographers from various newspapers and magazines present).

Would you blame me for being irked?