Write a 300-word blogpost about the coverage of a natural disaster in your country. Was the media coverage “a single story” or did any pieces stand out? If so, how?
Persistent flooding of the Kura River causes tension between Azerbaijan and Iran as some politicians accuse Iran of manipulating the Araz River (which borders both countries and flows into the Kura River) to threaten Azerbaijani villages.
In April/ May 2010, flooding of the Kura River in Southeast Azerbaijan found thousands of homes evacuated and several dead. The coverage of the flooding was thorough and could be found across multiple new sources, suggesting that this natural disaster didn’t suffer from the plight of “a single story”. Below are 3 links to different Azeri and international news sources that provide details of the flooding:
May 13 2010: http://www.rferl.org/content/Azerbaijanis_Continue_Evacuations_Due_To_Massive_Floods/2041401.html
May 24 2010: http://en.trend.az/azerbaijan/other/1692780.html
May 25: 2010: http://www.eurasianet.org/node/61149
Additionally, there was even followup coverage on the development of long-term preventative measures to prevent future flooding:
And the creation of settlements for those displaced:
However, it seems that for the sake of stirring up drama, the Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty released a news story proposing that Iran was to blame for the flooding by “manipulating reservoirs near their common border”. Upon further investigation, the story is really only based on the statement of one government official and doesn’t seems “newsworthy” enough to even publish. Luckily, this fabricated tension doesn’t seem to have caught on, and in the Iranian Embassy essentially shrugged the accusation off.