The story of 12 young boys trapped in a cave has captured the world’s attention. Should it have?
Dubai: When you heard the news that all 12 boys and their coach had been rescued successfully from the Thai cave in which they had been trapped for more than two weeks, were you glad for the glimmer of hope in otherwise dark times, or did you react with a shrug, returning your focus to the world’s myriad problems?
For some, the answer is obvious; this was a story of hope, against all odds. It was a tale that tapped in to our primal fears of being trapped, of dying in the darkness. It was about the best of humanity: About brave men and women, and the inextinguishable spirits of the trapped children.
For others, there is a concern that too much attention is paid to such stories, while the general public spurns important stories about human suffering on a much larger scale.
What can be done to counteract this seemingly natural fatigue to bad news, and human attraction to good news, and happy endings? Should the media even try?
In this podcast, we try to explain as journalists the ingredients that make this story so compelling, and we debate whether or not people should care.