My World's on Fire

By Colleen Hagerty

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My World's on Fire
Welcome to "My World's on Fire"
By Colleen Hagerty • Issue #2 • View online

There’s this comedy sketch going around of a woman warning her earlier-in-2020 self about what’s ahead. At one point, the pre-pandemic character refers to the bushfires that devastated Australia at the start of the year, capturing headlines worldwide.
“I think those are going to be the defining feature of 2020,” she says.
While the joke – and the reality – is clearly how soon that will be overshadowed, the idea for this newsletter came to me from a similar thought I had during that time. As Australia was battling unprecedented blazes, I was in Butte County, California, reporting on the ongoing recovery efforts from the 2018 Camp Fire. My focus on that trip was on how survivors turned to Facebook in their time of need, seeking real-time assistance, information, and a sense of community. Similar spaces were being built on that platform and others in response to the fires in Australia. Today, you can find countless ones dedicated to COVID-19.
It’s encouraging that we’re all turning to each other in difficult times, particularly when we can’t physically come together. But, of course, there are downsides that come with social platforms, from bullying and shaming to misinformation and scamming.
So, my hope in creating this newsletter is to take a small step towards building an informed virtual community around disaster preparedness, resiliency, and recovery efforts. Every other week, I’ll be sharing reporting in this space, including how factors like culture and technology factor into the way we view crises. Especially in the beginning, I’ll be exploring formats, including Q&A interviews, deeper dives, expanding on published work, or featuring new reporting.
As I’m experimenting, I would love to hear what you find interesting or not; under or over-reported. I’m always eager to hear any tips or story ideas you have to share – you can find me on your social network of choice (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) or via email ([email protected]).
Be sure to subscribe to receive the first *real* newsletter. Thank you for becoming an early part of this new community, and here’s a little something for reading to the end!
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