Hundreds of media organizations carried news about the new Darfur layers in Google Earth — and that’s just in English. In Sweden alone, over 40 papers ran the news (an example). In the US, many local news organizations and papers ran the AP or Reuters story. Here’s a rundown of links to some of the larger and/or more interesting ones, with some observations at the end:
Using their own correspondents: The Los Angeles Times (business), BBC (front page feature), CNET (front page, and as a top headline for media 2.0), CNN (technology), Washington Times (business), PC World, ABC News (world news) and a good article/blog in Wired.
AP: Seattle Post Intelligencer (business), MSNBC (technology), The Guardian (world news), Sydney Morning Herald (technology), the Houston Chronicle (markets), Seattle Times (world news), CBS News (technology), Baltimore Sun (world news), Washington Post (technology), San Jose Mercury News (breaking news), San Francisco Chronicle (business), Denver Post (world news), International Herald Tribune (Americas??) and the Sudan Tribune (which is a great resource for Darfur news, it turns out — pity they don’t have RSS).
What’s interesting is that there is no consensus among news editors as to where such a story belongs: Is the story’s most important news component the fact that there is a genocide being perpetrated in Darfur (world news), that new technologies are being employed to educate people about Darfur (technology), or that Google is involved (business)? In a sense, the situation in Darfur is not itself a “news” story, in that we all already (should) know what’s going on there. (If anything, the news is that it’s getting worse at the moment, and people I know who work there are doing so without much hope of a resolution anytime soon.) But putting the story in the technology section relegates it to a spot not followed by the people that the technology is most aiming to reach.
I think this is above all a story about how new technology is letting us all be witnesses to a genocide in progress, and how that raises our own responsibilities — so perhaps this is a story best also told in the glossy Sunday newspaper magazines, read when people have more time to play with Google Earth and where there is more room for long-form stories about larger technology trends coupled to humanitarian crises such as Darfur, but also Katrina/New Orleans and the Pakistan quake from 2005. How about it, New York Times?