From yesterday’s Telegraph comes this amazing story:
A 10-year-old girl saved her family and 100 other tourists from the Asian tsunami because she had learnt about the giant waves in a geography lesson, it has emerged.
Tilly Smith, from Oxshott, Surrey, was holidaying with her parents and seven-year-old sister on Maikhao beach in Phuket, Thailand, when the tide rushed out.
As the other tourists watched in amazement, the water began to bubble and the boats on the horizon started to violently bob up and down.
Tilly, who had studied tsunamis in a geography class two weeks earlier, quickly realised they were in danger.
She told her mother they had to get off the beach immediately and warned that it could be a tsunami.
She explained she had just completed a school project on the huge waves and said they were seeing the warning signs that a tsunami was minutes away.
Her parents alerted the other holidaymakers and staff at their hotel, which was quickly evacuated. The wave crashed a few minutes later, but no one on the beach was killed or seriously injured.
I am sure that some time during the last few months I have blogged things which have at least suggested that blogging etc. is capable of replacing the existing media. If so, apologies, and if not, lucky me. This tsunami disaster has made clear what has long been obvious, that the old media and the new media complement and feed into each other, or at any rate they ought to.
Bloggers in the right places at the right times can feed stories not just to other meta-bloggers, but to the mainstream media. A few of them were, after all, actually there. And then other bloggers, as I have just done, can point blog readers towards particularly choice mainstream media stories.
I particularly admire the way that the Guardian, for all that it is easy for the likes of us to criticise it for all kinds of other reasons, has at least learned how blogging can actually help in times like these, not just by telling the terrible story, but by helping to make it less terrible.