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  • 1. Hurricane Katrina: Effective and Ineffective Coverage of a Crisis By: Danielle Haskin, Lindsay Hurd, Ariana Katzman, Elliot Polakoff and Allison Stein
  • 2. Reporting Prior to Katrina
  • 3. What Does Effective/Ineffective Reporting Prior to the Crisis Do?
    • Effective:
    • Explains past Hurricane damage
    • Cites reliable sources
    • Explores the construction of the levees
    • Encourages evacuation and knows that a worse storm will happen
    • Ineffective:
    • Makes the threat of hurricanes seem small
    • Happy and safe tone, focusing more on the positives aspects of the city
  • 4. Prior Coverage: Effective
    • Hurricane Ivan: Nature weekly journal September 23 rd , 2004
    • -Information from Ivor van Heerden and other scientists are the main content
    • -Explains the issues with the levee construction
  • 5. Prior News Coverage: Effective
    • U.S News & World Report on Tropical Storm Cindy: July 18 th , 2005
    • -Predicts a even worse storm to come
    • - “non-evacuation culture”
    • -Explains why New Orleans is vulnerable
    • Both highlight that another storm, that is even worse, is bound to happen
  • 6. Prior News Coverage: Effective
    • Times-Picayune: November 16 th , 2001
    • Levee Benefits
    • Explains the cost and length project
    • Benefits and why needed
    • Vulnerabilities of the current levees
  • 7. Prior News Coverage: Ineffective
    • Special to The New York Times: New Orleans Journal: Aug. 30, 1992
    • -No mention of the damage done to other cities from hurricane Andrew
    • -Main focus is Café du Monde and the French Quarter
    • -Know that a dangerous storm is coming, but nothing on what to do/could be done
  • 8. Reporting DURING the Crisis (August 25-August 31 2005)
  • 9.
    • Effective Coverage:
    • -Informs citizens on how to evacuate
    • -Informs citizens outside the area about the magnitude of the hurricane and how they can help
    • -Compares Katrina to past hurricanes so citizens understand how bad a hurricane it is
    • Ineffective Coverage:
    • -Jumps to conclusion that we “dodged a bullet” with Katrina
    • -Shows images but does not give a lot of information
    • -More about getting awe out of audience for rating than about actually informing people
  • 10. Effective Reporting
    • NY Daily News: August 29, 2005
      • Gave detailed information about evacuation plan
      • Explained the potential impact Katrina could have
      • Referenced old Hurricanes: Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Camille, etc.
      • Gave the Hurricane scale and explained what each level actually means
    • "The storm surge will most likely topple our levee system," the mayor predicted grimly. That would turn New Orleans into a bowl filled with up to 35 feet of fetid water, laced with sewage, oils and toxic chemicals, that may not drain for months.”
  • 11.
    • PR Newswire US: August 30, 2005
      • MSNBC.com: "When an event like Hurricane Katrina occurs, we want to offer our consumers a news experience with sight, sound and motion in addition to written word," said Charlie Tillinghast, General Manager and Publisher for MSNBC.com.
      • They offered photo slideshows updated with photos from the day,
      • Interactive hurricane tracker
      • Citizen journalism, which offered collected reports from citizens in the region
    Effective Reporting
  • 12.
    • TWC Hurricane Katrina coverage: August 27 & 28 2005
      • The Weather Channel executed effective reporting on during the hurricane by explaining what it means for the people in the region that Katrina is labeled as a category 5 hurricane and by giving information regarding the traffic as a result of the evacuation routes
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZw5HVy1x
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg6MhGCfPRg
    Effective Reporting
  • 13. Ineffective Reporting
    • NY TIMES: August 28, 2005
      • Pictures of New Orleans Residents boarding up stores and evacuating
      • No actual information other than citizens evacuating, more about the image attracting readership then the actual content.
  • 14.
    • NY Daily News: August 30, 2005
      • Reporters from CNN such as Brian Andrews “acted like a little kid playing war games- crouching for cover behind a sidewalk mailbox , then running for shelter” (David Bianculli, Daily News )
      • Anderson Cooper and Campbell Brown were standing outside as well and reported much of the same thing and looked “silly”
    • CNN Coverage
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_12WDZXeys
    Ineffective Reporting
  • 15. Reporting After Katrina (August 31 st , 2005 –preset)
  • 16. Effective Reporting After Hurricane Katrina
    • Effective Journalism Tactics Included:
    • An appropriate balance between important facts and opinions
      • The piece shouldn’t overload the reader with too many unnecessary facts, nor should it omit them altogether
      • Including facts that fit well with opinions makes the writing more fluid and has more of an impact
    • Captivating Writing
      • The writer should make sure that the information is presented in a way that will interest the reader and spark a desire to learn more.
      • An Opening paragraph to a NYT article:
        • “ Despair, privation, and violent lawlessness grew so extreme in New Orleans on Thursday that the flooded cities mayor issued a “desperate SOS” and other local officials, describing the security situation as horrific, lambasted the federal government as responding too slowly to the disaster.”
  • 17. Effective Reporting After Hurricane Katrina
    • Effective Tactics Continued:
    • Relevant Images and Diagrams
      • Diagrams
        • Diagrams are an effective way to show the damage done to the city because they help the reader to understand the catastrophe differently than from a photo.
        • Diagrams show more technicalities and are used to explain the facts in the article.
        • *http://proquest.umi.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/pqdweb?did=1173947652&sid=1&Fmt=10&clientId=17822&RQT=309&VName=HNP
      • Images
        • Many images of Katrina evoke intense emotion amongst viewers: they have the power to tell an entire story.
        • The image of a policeman trying to control thousands of stranded civilians helps the reader to visualize the catastrophe.
        • Likewise, the image of a young boy sitting on top of rubble, hand on his forehead has infinite implications for the reader.
          • Articles that include images or diagrams or both were more effective-- they helped make the crisis tangible to the reader.
  • 18. Imagery
  • 19. Effective Reporting After Hurricane Katrina
    • Effective Tactics Continued:
    • Presenting Relief Efforts
      • An article that provides information on relief efforts should present clear strategies to the reader, often the use of bullets or lists with descriptions is most effective.
      • The article should talk to both those in need of help and those looking to provide help.
      • The writer should omit personal opinions from a piece that focuses on relief efforts as it should be more informative over entertaining.
      • A good article written on relief efforts should not be overwhelming, often those that were more succinct were more useful to readers.
    • Use of Relative and Credible Sources
      • It is important to include the views of other citizens when reporting a story but those who are interviewed must have a relative connection to the crisis.
        • A NYT article, “ Rotting Food, Dirty Water, And Heat Add to Problems , looks to sources such as “the director of emergency management for Harrison County” as well as a doctor who directs the emergency room at an effected hospital.
        • These sources make the article stronger because of their relevance to the subject.
  • 20.
    • Ineffective Reporting After the Hurricane:
    • Descriptions of the devastating aftermath of hurricane on New Orleans
    • and surrounding areas were helpful and informative to certain extent
    • -did little to create any senses of hope and optimism in various
    • communities. Same could be said of reports that focused on individuals
    • and their struggles during/after Katrina.
    • Andy Kelly’s September 6th 2005 Liverpool Daily Post article:
    • -details the personal struggles of the Scott family to survive
    • -non-stop criticism of local authorities and relief efforts
    • -near-death experiences for all individuals portrayed
    • -These article traits make Katrina’s effects seem slightly unrealistic,
    • even considering the extreme magnitude of the hurricane.
    • -misleading, only accurately depicts small area and population affected by the
    • hurricane.
    • These forms of journalism may speak to others’ cries for
    • help, but they don’t permit the casual reader to feel as associated
    • with the hurricane and its’ aftermath.
  • 21.
    • Ineffective Reporting Continued:
    • Necessary for post-Katrina coverage to cover most socially relevant elements of the hurricane so that general public is able to process critical information and most optimally contribute to restoration process.
    • Ed James September 17th Liverpool Daily Post : “Hurricane Katrina: The Aftermath: Return to city starts next week”:
    • -produces an initial sense of attempting to describe a new post-hurricane community by describing Mayor Ray Nagin’s proposed plans for New Orleans…
    • -arguments quickly lose substance
    • -Article generates nearly as much speculation as fact
    • -Backs up speculation with irrelevant or illegitimate sources, like a strip club owner
    • -Sources like this don’t represent the majority of the affected community
  • 22.
    • Even if post-Katrina reporting educated the general public, never took time
    • to focus on the most pressing issues pertaining to social reconstruction.
    • Bill Walsh October 22nd, New Orleans Times-Picayune , “Plan would let
    • president take control in disasters: Proposal may be seen as slap at Blanco”:
    • -Examines relationship between Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco, the
    • President, and federal organizations like Federal Emergency Management
    • Agency (FEMA) in relation to who should intervene in restoring and aiding
    • the hurricane region.
    • -Article is inefficient because it specifically focuses on
    • nitpicking at who should be in control for controlling communities affected
    • by natural disasters.
    • -More focus on what is being done or what needs to be done, not who is
    • doing it.
  • 23.
    • Finally, for much of the general public, pictures leave lasting image