From: United Kingdom
Rorke's drift on the other hand was wholly unremarkable, and one of many similar outpost defences throughout the British Empire. It was seized upon and made into history in order to have 'good news' for the papers at home.
I'm not sure I can agree that the defence was "wholly unremarkable". Essentially 140 men, held against nearly 4000. So many of those stationed at the Drift left before any action, because they anticipated another massacre. The defense was remarkable in how it was planned out, mealie bag perimeters and biscuit box retrenchment wall, bisecting the courtyard and providing a second line of defence.
The Zulu's were young and out to prove themselves, and I think they thought they would just roll over the Drift. They were wrong. Injured/wounded men were dragging themselves out of a burning building, whilst fighting. Something remarkable did take place there.
However, you are right that it was made more public BECAUSE of the debacle at Isandlwana. The defence at the drift was a symbol of Victorian spirit, stacked against the blunderings and mistakes made at Isandlwana. Many of the circumstances at the Little Sphinx were made with sound military reasons behind them, but their intel was wrong, their assumptions of the force they were dealing with was very much underestimated. 1300 men were lost at Isandlwana, so it was a catastrophe, but a mere 140 held their ground at the Drift. Chard and Bromhead, and all the other men there deserve credit. In my opinion.