Monday, 24 January 2011

Moscow airport bombing Jan 24th 2011

As I am typing this, news is still coming in about the Moscow airport bombing which was clearly a horrific experience for those unfortunate enough to have been caught up in it. However, the following extract below illustrates what I feel to be another example of how coverage of these tragedies all too often slips into uncritical usage of outdated terms such as 'panic', even when faced with conflicting information. Here the BBC coverage uses the term with all its selfish assumptions, but in the very same same sentence then describes how a British survivor helps others around him. I would argue that this is not the actions of a panicked individual and supports our research into emergencies that found co-operative altruistic (rather than selfish)  behaviour to be the norm in such situations.

'He described scenes of panic and how he gave a drink of water to a bloodied Russian man whose face was blackened with soot'

1 comment:

  1. Needless to say, I absolutely agree that crowds are normally presented either as bewildered herds or ferocious packs, stripped of all civility, and both are pretty absurd stereotypes.

    But I think we should avoid slipping into the reverse notion, that there's some magic formula inherent in crowds that overcomes individual alienation and leads us to organise collectively. I don't see why there shouldn't be as many 'crowd moods' as there are individual moods, some of which will be libertarian, others reactionary.