How global media is responding to the Australian bushfires


The enormity of the Australian bushfire crisis means that news outlets and journalists all over the world are reporting on it.

The death toll currently stands at 23, with six people still missing across New South Wales and Victoria. Nearly half a million animals have been killed and a third of NSW’s koala population has been wiped out.

The fires have torn through 1500 homes and there are over 200 fires still burning across New South Wales and Victoria.

Fires continue to burn in every state and territory in the country, and for months, people have been breathing in hazardous and in some cases deadly smoke from the blazes.

Newspapers and magazines from around the globe have been responding with horrified disbelief.

Matthew Abbott’s searing photo featuring a kangaroo bounding in front of an inferno in Lake Conjola, NSW, was splashed across front pages all over the world.

It was on page 1 of The New York Times on New Year’s Day.

And on the front page of UK national paper The Times on January 2.

And the London-based international newspaper Financial Times on the same day.

The Guardian and Toronto-based The Globe and Mail used the same image.

The Independent in the UK ran Australian bushfires images on its front pages on January 2 and 3.

And on January 4, as the fires raged on, Dutch paper Het Parool ran Abbott’s sobering image on its front page.

Meanwhile, as the nation rages against what they view as the Morrison government’s inaction and/or inappropriate response to the fires, the global coverage continues, and not much of it has been favourable towards the current leader.

“Australia’s bushfires have exposed its leaders failings,” opined the Financial Times.

“Global apathy toward the fires in Australia is a scary portent for the future, writes David Wallace-Wells for New York magazine.

“Australian bushfires: the situation could continue ‘for months’,” wrote French paper Le Monde.

“Australia’s bushfires have burned an area the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined,” reported Time magazine, putting the crisis into context for American readers.

The Guardian view on the bushfires: Australia needs a government with the right priorities,” wrote the paper.

German outlet taz, die tageszeitung said, “the fires show what happens when urgent environmental problems are put on the back burner.”

The Atlantic published an article with the headline “Australia Won’t Stop Burning” and the subhead, “Even as the country fights bushfires, it can’t stop dumping planet-warming pollution into the atmosphere.”

The world is shocked and troubled by what’s going on in our country. From afar, our nation, long viewed as one of the most idyllic places on the planet, is now being seen as hell on earth.



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