February 10, 2009

Journalism should inform. It should evoke an understanding, preferably at a deep and emotional level, that the reader didn’t have before. It should afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted (yes, I’m quoting, no I’m not googling).

The Australian, along with most of the world’s media it seems, has been covering the Australian bush fires in all manner of depth and lurid detail but none of it strikes a chord as much as this report which, despite its awful headline “How we cheated flames of death” is one of the best pieces of writing I’ve seen this year.

“They warn you it comes fast. But the word ‘fast’ doesn’t come anywhere near describing it.

It comes at you like a runaway train. One minute you are preparing. The next you are fighting for your home. Then you are fighting for your life.

But it is not minutes that come between. It’s more like seconds. The firestorm moves faster than you can think, let alone react.”

Hattip: Richard York


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