Monday, April 28, 2008

Global Communications, Global Panic 

Global prices for food are rising. Stories of food riots around the world are appearing in traditional media and online. Global communications are fueling global fears, including panic buying of rice. Get ready for more of the same with the fully connected earth. A distant country's problems are suddenly are own. The transparency of modern media emphasizes connectedness in ways few could imagine. We now know that food stocks worldwide are low. We also know some governments have pulled up their bridges in foreign trade and are starting to hoard food for their own citizens. It will take concerted government action to calm fears and to make sure there is sufficient apportionment among countries. Right now that is not happening. The poorest countries are being left out.

As PR practitioners, we should observe this living case closely and learn what needs to be done to fend off global panic. We will see it again in our lifetimes.


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