Natural disasters have beset Australia’s neighbours in the last two days, with the Samoan earthquake and tsunami quickly followed by an earthquake in Indonesia. Considering how close these countries are to Australia and the scope of the disasters, it makes sense that they are front page news. Hundreds are dead. Thousands have been left injured and homeless.

But of course, there is always the desperate search for a local angle in Australian newsrooms. “Are any Aussies dead?”. The result: if you’re just a headline skimmer, sometimes the only thing you’ll know is the Aussie death toll.

We’re not saying we’re surprised, but there seems to be even more blanket Aussie coverage than usual.

Post Samoan tsunami:

  • “Two Australians confirmed dead after massive earthquake triggers tsunami off coast of American Samoa” — Herald Sun

  • Third Australian confirmed dead in Samoa” — NineMSN
  • “Three Australians dead in tsunami as death toll rises” — SMH
  • Four Aussies dead as Samoa tsunami toll rises” — Adelaide Now
  • “South Pacific tsunami toll rises: three Australians among dead, grave fears for others” — The Age
  • “Fears for fifth Australian after Pacific tsunami” — The Age
  • This isn’t paradise, it’s hell on Earth, says Aussie survivor” — The Age
  • “Unaccounted Australians likely tourists” — Sky News
  • “Ballarat school mourns loss of teacher” — Sky News
  • “Sydney’s Samoans keen to return home” — Sky News

The Cairns Post takes the local angle to the extreme.

The Geelong Advertiser even more so, using the line: “A former Geelong woman…”

The Gold Coast Bulletin was particularly tacky, with their bad photoshopping job on the front cover and Aussie “Mum” headline.

And then the Indonesia earthquake hit:

But in the Northern Territory, there were issues far more pressing than natural disasters, death and mayhem:

Peter Fray

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