Vlogging and disaster tourists


Well-known member
I'm just back from Australia volunteering for HUHA (helping you help animals) an NZ charity establishing triage centers and building shelters for injured wildlife.
Normally I'm on the other side of the lens so it was interesting to me observing the coverage.
A strange aspect was the buzzing clouds of vloggers. These vary from passionate wildlife advocates to the opportunist disaster tourists. I can't describe just how surreal it is to walk past 4 vloggers all talking to their phones at the same time, facing in slightly different directions as if they are the only cat in the room.
But many of the victims like having the vloggers better than "The Media."
It doesn't take long to find out why.
A lot of them bring money raised from donations from their streams and dole it out like a reality TV show. (Transparency as to how the donations are allocated vary wildly and they promise more to come with the exposure. To that end every vlogger introduces themselves with their numbers of subscribers... Hi I'm Fred Vlogger, 30,000 subs.)
And more importantly Vloggers, in general, repeat what they are told. Most don't bother or have time for fact checking. In the aftermath of any disaster zone rumors swirl like a mini cyclones and the vloggers are happy to add to the spin. I kept hearing outrageous things that once I had time and internet I could fact check and many were extreme misinterpretation of what really happened but on the ground instead of questioning what the vloggers are saying, it built to the outrage at what "The Media" wasn't telling you.
The sense of entitlement with the vloggers is strong. They seem to think their phone entitles them to be anywhere. One elbowed his way into a small triage station, handing his phone to a gloved up vet nurse so she could get a selfie of him with a roo's burnt paws that she had been bandaging. She took the shot with a wtf just happened look.
The icing on the cake to me was when one "Independent Environmental Documentary Maker" after spending 3 days blagging rides with us, complained that what we were doing wasn't really interesting to her.
So sorry we didn't plan our day around ways to keep up her entertainment content.
All that aside its been a privilege to help some of the survivors who are doing so much for the wildlife who need them.
(also I realize I'm using "vlogger" as a slightly pejorative term to describe the wide verity of social media Instergramers, Tweeters etc. but that's how I'm feeling)
Here is something I shot between building :)

Wombat Wisdom


Well-known member
You hit the nail on the head. It’s entertainment. I’m gonna step out on a limb and say the vast majority are not trained journalists. It’s a means to an end for them. Meaning it’s a vehicle for exposure for them or their cause and money. The more subscribers/viewers, the more money they can make. I’m sure there are some actually doing good work and for the right reasons, but I’m gonna say it’s less than 1%. I have no idea, but that’s the percentage I’m gonna go with.