Telling the story of the carnage

The Red Cross, citing a network of volunteers, today said the death toll from the earthquake in Haiti is about 50,000. That number — and our relative inability to comprehend it — is putting news editors in a difficult position — whether and how to show images of the dead.

The morning network TV shows appear to have decided not to stray from the shots of its network anchors.

The Boston Globe’s Big Picture has compelling images here, and provides a warning for those that are the most graphic.

I’m doing the same for this picture from the Associated Press. Warning: It is quite graphic.

This audio slideshow from the Los Angeles Times doesn’t show any of the dead, but is still able to effectively convey the nightmare rescuers face.

The humanitarian effort took another bad turn within the last hour. At the request of the government of Haiti, all flights from the U.S. have been grounded. There’s no room at the destroyed airport for them to land, and there’s no fuel to get them back home.

  • bsimon

    It is difficult to get past the incomprehensible numbers of victims. I still get a lump in my throat when my not-quite-three-year-old asks where the dog is, who ‘left us’ 10 months ago. A few days ago the NYT and then NPR did a story on a former Coney Island strongman who died this week; maybe not a tear-jerker of a story, but an acknowledgement of one life lost. Then I come back to the unfathomable nature of the earthquake’s impact. Worse, when we hear the stories of limited food and water supplies, I think back to the tsunami in SE asia in late 2004; how many more victims are yet to succumb in the coming days?