Earthquake Coverage, Possible Action

There is an enormous amount of worthy coverage of the earthquake. If you have suggestions for other recommended reading, please post a comment.

1. Some of the best coverage in the United States is coming from NPR, who had Melissa Block and Robert Siegel in Sichuan to cover other stories at the time of the quake. At NPR, you can see photos, listen to and read the coverage of rural areas, and even hear Melissa Block, who was mid-interview when the earthquake struck, narrating what she saw from the street.

2. Rebecca MacKinnon posted a short piece with links to a variety of websites posting information from people in Sichuan.

3. Peter Hessler’s moving essay in The New Yorker includes notes and updates from his former students (some of whom he has written about in both his books).

4. The continuation of the torch relay’s domestic legs following the earthquake has touched off debate and anger in China. This AFP report gives more detail.

5. Melinda Liu’s oddly prescient mention of the 1976 earthquake in an article on the crisis in Myanmar raises questions about the relationship between (badly-managed) natural disasters and regime change.

6. China Media Project director Qian Gang (author of a book on the Tangshan earthquake) has written a statement urging all media to continue to focus on the rescue efforts, rather than rushing to contextualize and criticize.

In terms of giving to help those in need, many blogs have mentioned various charities, the most common being the Red Cross Society of China.

1. Rich Brubaker at Crossroads (the blog’s subtitle is “a review of corporate social responsibility in China”) has several posts recommending charities, as well as laying out which charities donors should give to for short-term versus mid- or long-range needs.

2. Many of the collections are being taken up by local organizations. For instance, here at UCI the Chinese Students and Scholars Association will be collecting donations directly (for those in the area, they will be on Ring Road in front of the bookstore on Thursday and Friday from 8-5). Your most direct or convenient route to giving may be a local organization or charity who will then send the funds on to an organization working in China (for example, the UCI association is collecting on behalf of Red Cross of China).

3. In the coming days, organizations like the American Institute of Philanthropy or Charity Navigator may publish recommendations for charities to give to (both have recent pieces on giving for Myanmar).

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