I first noticed this curiosity almost five years ago, when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. Television and newspaper reporters were busily interviewing people who were running out of supplies, desperate for food, water, blankets and medicine. How is it, I wondered, that they could get reporters and cameras and lights and generators to the places where the hardest hit victims lived in order to broadcast their plight to the world, but they couldn't get them the supplies they needed to live? The phenomenon repeats itself with every global disaster. At the time of the earthquake in Haiti, the nightly news reporters bemoaned the inadequacy of the airports to handle incoming flights bearing supplies, yet never seemed to notice the irony that the plane that brought them to Haiti was part of what was holding things up.
When I saw this morning's news with the same old story going on, now in Chile, it occurred to me. Disaster relief organizations; take note. Just follow the reporters; wherever they are going is where you will be most needed. That should work until our world gets smart enough to tell them to stay out of your way.