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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

UK: Newspaper urges readers to donate for earthquake victims in front page appeal


In a courageous attempt to engage its readers, The Independent today devotes its front page to an appeal to donate to the victims of the Asian earthquake. The front page includes a coupon to donate as well as the headline "Why this is no time for compassion fatigue."

The paper writes, "... we, as prosperous citizens of the Western world, have a responsibility to donate too. That is why The Independent is launching an appeal today on behalf of the victims ... This is an immediate and positive way for readers to help. Hundreds of thousands are in desperate need of food, shelter, clothing, sanitation and medicine. Unless the survivors receive them speedily, disease will swell the death toll ... An over-used phrase this year has been 'compassion fatigue'. Some have suggested the British public's willingness to donate to emergency relief funds is dwindling. We are confident that this is not the case. You have shown that your willingness to give is dictated not by personal whim but by the scale of the emergency. You showed this during our Darfur appeal last summer, ... during the Christmas appeal for Africa, and in the tsunami appeal. We hope you will summon up that same spirit of compassion once more ..."

The paper is helping the Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella body that includes well-known British charities. They raise funds for the victims of the earthquake in Kashmir last Saturday. The earthquake may have killed about 40,000 people.

The radical approach to offer its front page for a noble appeal like this deserves respect. Trying to engage readers with the events and tragedies happening in the world lies at the heart of a newspaper's task. Others might think that this appeal could be perceived as too aggressive. What do you think?

Source: BrandRepublic, The Independent

Posted by Anna-Maria Mende on October 12, 2005 at 03:10 PM | Permalink


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