Sunday, January 02, 2005

Noting a week a coverage worthy of the New York Times

All the articles listed below are worth reading and a sign of the Times' committment to international coverage:

From Heart of Indonesia's Disaster, a Cry for Help By JANE PERLEZ

Tsunami Group Will Expand Its Network By ANDREW C. REVKIN

Tales of Tsunami Survival: 3 From California 'Sailed Into It' By COREY KILGANNON

U.S. Helicopters Speed Pace of Aid for Indonesia Refugees By ROBERT D. McFADDEN

Aid Workers Tackle Panic and Rumors By IAN FISHER and DAVID ROHDE

Aid Summit Talks in Jakarta: U.S. Is Facing a Choice and an Opportunity By DAVID E. SANGER

The following photographers have photos deserving of mention: Abdullah Azam (Associated Press) for the front page photo of relief arriving in Banda Aceh; Saurabh Das (AP) for the photo of "a morgue in a Buddhist temple in Takupa, Thailan, [where] medical workers took DNA samples to help with identification later"; Andrew Wong (Getty Images) for the photo of Pawanamma and A, Kannan as they "burn contaminated clothing" in India; for Beawiharta (Reuters) for the photo of those carrying "belongings yesterday along a damaged highway toward Banda Aceh . . . in the hopes of finding food and shelter"; and for Axel Koester (New York Times) for the photo of Eugene Kim and Faye Linda Wachs "of Santa Monica Calif., [who] were scuba diving off Ko Phi Phi Island in Thailand when the giant wave struck."

On page A8, the Times provides a list entitled "How to Help." You're directed (for an "expanded list of agencies") to and to avoid you having to spend thirty minutes as I did attempting to find the link:

How to Help: Disaster Aid

If you enjoy playing "Where's Waldo?" feel free to look for it (and, hopefully, you'll find it more quickly than I did).

Again, the Times deserves congratulations for the incredible job they did covering the human costs of the tsunami. After an often lethargic year, the paper rallied with this story. If they're remembered for one series of stories from 2004 and it's this series, they have much to be proud of.

I want to echo Dona's comments (quoted in an earlier post about the Times' coverage of the tsunami) that the job fell to the people who (as a group) haven't been the paper's designated heavy hitters. This group more than lived up to the paper's (good) reputation, they reminded us of the power the New York Times still has when it chooses to focus its resources. A number of you have singled out certain reporters (Amy Waldman and David Rohde are the two most cited) for their coverage but as a group, everyone made it happen.

A partial list (especially with regard to photographers) who contributed to the Times' exceptional coverage would include the following names: Amy Waldman, Robert D. McFadden,
Nick Cumming-Bruce, Michelle O'Donnell, John Schwartz, Andy Newman, Michele Kayal, Matthew L. Wald, Seth Mydans, Lawrence K. Altman, Eric Lipton, David Carr, Craig E. Smith, David Rohde, Wayne Arnold, Eric Lichtblau, Dan Barry, John M. Broder, Donald G. McNeil Jr., Hari Kuman, Stephanie Strom, Alan Cowell, Denise Grady, David E. Sanger, Warren Hoge, Steven R. Weisman, Andrew C. Revkin, Jane Perlez, James Brooke, Corey Kilgannon, Ian Fisher, Chaiwat Subprasom, Gurinder Osan, Elizabeth Dalziel, Saeed Khan, Barbara Walton, Sriyantha Walpola, Jean Chung, Chang W. Lee, Pacik, Bay Ismoyo, Choo Youn-Kong, Chang W. Lee, Kim Cheung, Dimas Ardlian, Richard Vogel, Ed Wray, Santosh Verma, Dibyangshu Sarkar, Edy Pumono Jiwa Foto (or Edy Pumono of Jiwa Foto*), Binsar Bakkara, Catherine Stebbins, Cory Lum, Darren Whiteside, Adrees Latid, Dita Alangkara, Sriyantha Walpola, Rob Schoenbaum, Axel Koester, Beawiharta, Saurabh Das, Andrew Wong, Chang W. Lee and Abdullah Azam. Someone who wishes to be unnamed said these three people at the paper deserve to be noted as well David Geary, Roger W. Strong and Helen Verongos.

[*"Edy Pumono Jiwa Foto/ Edy Pumono & Jiwa Foto" is an issue Rachel raised. The paper ran the four names together. Rachel wondered if they were two names or one name and then an organization. "Jiwa Foto" was not preceeded by a slash. Edy Pumono may be an employee of Jiwa Foto, there's an organization by that name ]

I'm more than happy to complain when the Time errs. But it's also worth noting when they work overtime to turn out the sort of journalism that built the paper's reputation. I started out last week noting how small the main section was (it was eight to ten pages shorter than normal) but as they focused their attention and resources on worthy (and needed) coverage, the amount of pages became far less important to me. Yazz e-mails: "I won't knock the praise they've gotten for their coverage on the tsunami because it's about the only thing they've gotten right in the last few years. Credit where it's due, they earned it."

And they did. To stop before it turns into an "Oprah moment" (Gina says she can only take so many in one day), I'll point out that if you're interested in other disaster news, you can check out this arts' section story: In Dick Clark's Absence, Regis Fills the Vacuum by Virginia Heffernan.