Army Morale At A Low, Fixing Disaster Aid, Meals For Transitioning From Winter To Spring

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A recent article states that disaster relief is heavily influenced by media coverage and politics. Our guest explains why the current aid system is broken, and offers suggestions on how to fix it. We also get recipes to help the transition from winter to spring, and examine why, despite a multi-year optimism program, army morale is dropping.

Featured in this Show

  • Environmental Journalist Says Disaster Relief Is Influenced By News Coverage

    An environmental journalist is advocating for a new approach to international disaster relief after examining the link between U.S. news coverage and amounts of aid given to under-developed countries around the globe.

    Tim Kovach, a contributing writer to Vox, recently wrote that the worst disasters don’t necessarily receive the most aid. He said slow-burning disasters like famines don’t seem to generate the same kind of response.

    Kovach wrote about a study that found that the likelihood of a disaster region receiving U.S. aid increased by 16 percent when it was covered by nightly news broadcasts. If the disaster isn’t in the news, it would require six times the amount of fatalities than a disaster that did get coverage.

    The study also found that disasters compete against other world events for coverage. If the disaster occurs during the Olympics or the World Series, the likelihood of it receiving news coverage falls by 5 to 6 percent.

    “It can be difficult for a newscast to cover these types of slow-moving disasters because the events are coming on over the course of several days or weeks,” Kovach said. “But at the same time, it’s important to not allow the daily demands of the media to affect the actual outcomes of disaster relief.”

    Kovach said that it’s a general misconception that disasters are unpreventable acts of God. He expressed the need for nations to create disaster risk reduction plans. One popular example, said Kovach, are early warning systems. In the U.S., many people receive tornado alerts from the National Weather Service on a smartphone, radio or television. However, poorer countries don’t yet have this infrastructure, he said.

    “It’s important to invest in those types of early-warning systems to give people the critical head start that they need to protect themselves and their property,” Kovach said.

  • Despite Expensive, Multi-year Optimism Program, Army Morale Dips Lower

    According to a data from confidential, online questionnaires that all soldiers must fill out once a year, army morale is declining, despite a six-year resilience program that cost almost 300 million dollars. A reporter provides details.

  • Rethinking How We Give Disaster Aid To Foreign Countries

    There can be plenty of variables that go into how aid is distributed after a natural disaster in a foreign country, including politics and media coverage. A writer and analyst looks at the current model, and possible alternatives.

  • Food Friday: Transitional Foods, Or Combining The Last Of Winter With The First Of Spring

    Madison’s first outdoor farmer’s market of spring is this weekend. Food Friday regular Lori Skelton shares her ideas for combining the last of the winter root vegetables with the first of spring greens, in a segment dedicated to “transitional foods.”

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Chris Malina Producer
  • Marika Suval Producer
  • Amanda Magnus Producer
  • Tim Kovach Guest
  • Gregg Zoroya Guest

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