Coverage of Hurricane Katrina
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Coverage of Hurricane Katrina



by Max Collins, Brent Petrone, Stephanie Steinberg, Elyana Twiggs, and Lauren Zobl

by Max Collins, Brent Petrone, Stephanie Steinberg, Elyana Twiggs, and Lauren Zobl



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  • Effective: many reliable sources local police officer—Recollecting the rescue effort and focusing on the living balanced reporting with pro and con Bush statements as well as statements that blame Bush’s camp and the local camp there are quotes from the average person about Bush and the government a good balance of facts and quotes These are specific to these two articles but they also have overall themes of other government reaction coverage post Katrina Pictures not from my example articles but from other examples read (LATimes)
  • Does have reliable sources Balanced reporting- very anti Bush and very little about local government mistakes Nothing from the average person It does point fingers at Bush which makes it seem like the author/ journalist took a side It has a lot of facts but they are helpful

Coverage of Hurricane Katrina Coverage of Hurricane Katrina Presentation Transcript

  • Max Collins, Brent Petrone, Stephanie Steinberg, Ely Twiggs, Lauren Zobl
    • Reliable sources
      • government and local officials
    • Balanced reporting
    • Reporting for the average person
      • “ How will I be effected?”
    • Sensationalism
    • Too many personal accounts/ eye witnesses
    • Pointing fingers
    • All facts and no context
  • Before Katrina
    • New York TImes : Nothing's Easy for New Orleans Flood Control published April 30, 2002
    • Fair and Balanced
    • Addressed imminent danger of hurricanes and a weak levee system
    • Charts/pictures with descriptions to help reader visualize threat more clearly
    • Local experts:
      • Dr. Ivor van Heerden, deputy director of the L.S.U. Hurricane Center
      • Jack C. Caldwell, head of the state's Natural Resources Department
    • Devils advocate/Pros and Cons
      • “ Perhaps the surest protection is building up the coastal marshes that lie between New Orleans and the sea and that have been eroding at high rates. But restoration will require time, a huge effort and prohibitive sums of money, perhaps $14 billion…”
    • USA News & World Report: Big Blow in the Big Easy published July 10, 2005
    • No Explanations or Solutions
    • Poor use of quotes
    • Addresses problems with no explanations or solutions/advice
    • Negativity and pessimism
    • “… the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is at least a decade away from upgrading to that level of protection.”
      • Why?
    • Excess of opinions rather than facts
    • “ Still, polls show the longer people have lived in New Orleans, the less likely they are to evacuate. "If it's going to happen, it's going to happen…”
          • No attitude calling for prevention.
    • Director of Hurricane Public Health discusses levee problems have not been fixed accordingly to withstand another category 5 hurricane
    • “ Before Katrina we were saying get out with a category 2 or above,” Ivor Van Heerden said. “We haven’t changed that message. Get out.”
    • New Orleans levees improved? 1:35 – 2:40
  • During Katrina
    • Flight tracker
    • USA TODAY: Thousands face delays as Katrina hits Gulf Coast
    • Article is interactive and pertains to actual travels with a link to a Flight Tracker
    • Although there are no official sources, there are lists of the exact cities that are affected so that readers are able to pinpoint their delay
    • The Washington Post: “ Room Guarantees Can get lost in Hurricane ”
    • One of the highway offramps used to launch search and rescue boats in the Lower Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina, nicknamed "Bush's boat ramps."
    • Although the article gives sufficient airline delays and information regarding cancelled flights and airport chaos, there is little FACT to the story
      • A woman is featured as missing her flight to Barbados, a menial concern in the wake of Katrina’s destruction
    • There are barely any official sources, just testimonials
  • During Katrina
    • Times-Picayune: Photo slide show
    • Picture from the slideshow
    • Highlights a variety of issues that were occurring during the floods
    • Very detailed captions that provided a broader context to what was happening in the photograph
    • Times-Picayune: Widespread looting hits abandoned businesses
    • Re-reporting facts that have been known .
      • Since this article came out the Tuesday after the storm similar and more in depth stories about looting were already written
    • Did not add any information in how the looting problem was being enforced
  • During and After Katrina
    • Economic consultants give best and worst case scenarios
    • USA Today: Storm worsens oil, gas problems published August 29, 2005
    • Best: “oil prices of $65 to $70 per barrel for a couple of weeks, and gasoline at about $3 a gallon for a couple of months.”
    • Worst: “Oil rises to $100 a barrel for a month, gas prices are $3.50 a gallon for a few months.”
    • Describes how citizens across the U.S. will be affected
      • High gas prices due to damaged oil pipelines and refineries
      • Will affect heating, cooling and driving prices
    • Describes government emergency plans for energy shortages
      • Ex: Strategic Petroleum Reserve
    • BBC: Lake faces aftermath of city catastrophe published Sept. 8, 2005
    • Map of Lake Pontchartrain
    • Questions environmental impact of toxins and chemicals that would be dumped in Lake Pontchartrain
    • Puts news in context
      • Before hurricane, the lake was getting cleaner
    • Explains importance of wetlands for reducing flooding
    • USA Today Interactive
    • See where oil ports and pipelines are located and how they were affected
    • Also part of the interactive
      • How many evacuees sought refuge in each state
      • Map of ports along the coast that were impacted
  • After Katrina
      • The Washington Post “Along Gulf, Aiding the Living and Counting the Dead” September 6, 2005
    • President Bush comforts a Katrina victim
    • Reliable Sources
      • Local police officer
      • President Bush
    • Balanced Reporting
      • Pro and con Bush
      • Blame Bush and blame local government
    • Quotes
      • “ It is good that he came… It seems like he cares”
    • Facts
      • Balanced with quotes
      • The Washington Post: Officials Deal With Political Fallout by Pointing Fingers September 5,2005
    • Reliable sources
      • Senator Mary Landrieu
      • Spokeswomen for Louisiana Government
    • No quotes from the average person
    • Points fingers at Bush