It’s been nearly two weeks since the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, bound from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard. While I can’t speak to your experience if you are a regular news watcher, I am feeling completely overwhelmed by the extensive coverage this story has received.
The incident has been dissected by military experts, each bit of news about the switching off of the transponders has been debated by current and former pilots and, of course, the efforts to locate any possible debris, should the plane have met with a fatal event, are ongoing material for coverage. Regular airline passengers have been interviewed and asked, “Because of what happened to flight 370 are you less likely to fly in the future?”
We have picked apart the Malaysian government’s oversight and regulations regarding cockpit safety and their foot-dragging in releasing information. We have ascribed some of this to their embarrassment at the purported lack of efficient security measures and to “face saving.”
We have heard any number of theories as to what happened to Flight 370 – ranging from hijacking to mechanical failure to appropriation by UFO’s. Each of those have been defended and debunked by their proponents and by those who offer a different view. All of these have been brought before us in an almost sterile, clinical manner. Perhaps that is the best attitude and mindset to have when doing this sort of investigation.
But with all of this, with worries and speculation that terrorists have absconded with the plane so that they can arm it with explosives and blow up Tel Aviv or London or New York, with speculation as to the pilot’s involvement in what may or may not be a hijacking, there is one aspect of this tragedy that has gone under-reported by virtually every news source. That is the 239 passengers aboard this flight and the anguish of their families.
Finally, ten full days after the flight disappeared, I saw a clip of a distraught Chinese mother who broke down, screaming in agony during an update by the Malaysian government, shrieking in tears as she wondered about the fate of her son who was aboard the plane. And I’ve seen a few brief interviews with the siblings of the lone American adult who was aboard the flight. That has been the extent of the coverage that I have seen of those who are personally affected that has merited the coverage of the news media.
Perhaps the coverage of Flight 370’s disappearance is merely an example of our technological worldview. Perhaps we are more interested in the intricacies of what might have gone wrong mechanically or would rather submerse ourselves in conspiracy theories than cover the human issue of what was the fate of those who were aboard.
What happened to Flight 370? We still don’t know and it may be some time, if ever, before we find that answer. And as to the media and your lack of reporting on the families of the passengers on that fated plane, I would ask – “Where’s the love?”