Media Storm

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Media Storm

  1. 1. Media StormA look at the U.S. media coverage of Hurricane Katrina<br />Joshua Admir, Sasha Resende, Annie Rossetti, Darryn Fitzgerald<br />
  2. 2. Reporting during Hurricane KatrinaThursday August 25- Wednesday August 31<br />
  3. 3. Effective <br />National Public Radio: Hurricane Katrina Makes Landfall on Louisiana Coast <br />Interview with Rep. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) <br />listen here <br />Breaking coverage <br />Information is relevant to a wide spectrum of listeners <br />Provides a first-hand look into the crisis as it unfolds <br />Stresses immediacy of Katrina <br />Covers personal, local and national angles <br />
  4. 4. Effective<br />CNN Evening News: Saturday, Aug 27, 2005<br />View Hurricane Katrina/Gulf Coast/ Blanco Interview (9:01:20 pm- 09:13:40 pm) <br />Stresses immediacy of evacuation New Orleans and surrounding areas <br />Structure of video moves from current weather situation to current state of New Orleans to historical context <br />Explain evacuation, define terminology, traffic patterns, ecc. <br />Quote from Governor Blanco about media’s importance in helping get people to evacuate New Orleans<br />Predicts future impact of Katrina based on current socioeconomics <br />“Very ominous situation…likely to be a deadly storm”<br />
  5. 5. Ineffective<br />NBC Nightly News: Saturday, Aug 27, 2005<br />Hurricane Katrina/ Gulf Coast, Florida (5:30:50 pm- 5:38:00 pm) <br />Taped and edited<br />Focus on cleanup in Florida, directing attention away from New Orleans and evacuation efforts<br />Lacks urgency and historical context, does not highlight the phenomenon of Katrina <br />Describes New Orleans as a “paradise”; Optimistic tone, showing people eating, music<br />Informal and casual<br />Formulaic coverage <br />
  6. 6. Very Ineffective<br />USA Today: On the day after, sobering lessons from Katrina<br />Aug 30, 2005 <br />“As the full impact of Hurricane Katrina began to sink in Tuesday — New Orleans flooding, scenes of devastation along the Gulf Coast, a death toll of dozens and rising — perhaps the broadest lesson was the reminder that in the contest of nature vs. man, nature at its most powerful retains the upper hand.”<br />
  7. 7. Sensationalized<br />Sweeping statements <br />Ominous tone <br />No statistics, no quotes <br />No mention of rescue efforts nor accountability <br />Vague <br />Poses more questions than answers <br />
  8. 8. Reporting after immediate crisisThursday Sept 1st and beyond <br />Anderson Cooper interviews Mary Landrieu <br />
  9. 9. NBC Evening News Sept 1, 2005<br />Sensationalized coverage<br />Criminalizes victims <br />Focus on violence, looting, car theft<br />Physical fight<br />Void of sympathy/empathy<br />Ineffective news headline: “total chaos”<br />“us” vs. “them”<br />Dehumanizes and blames the victims<br />Media is not carrying out its investigative role to inform<br />Fails to communicate that aid and relief efforts are still needed<br />Not providing check on government <br />
  10. 10. The New York Times: Thursday, September 1, 2005: “News Analysis: Hard New Test for President”<br />By David E. Sanger<br />Introduces the critical governmental frame which would dominate future coverage of the Katrina disaster.<br />Ties the delayed response by the National Guard to the Iraq War.<br />National Guard is overstretched and cannot provide assistance to affected regions.<br />Includes the infamous photograph of President Bush looking at New Orleans from the window of Air Force One.<br />Suggests that President Bush isn’t willing to take on-the-ground initiative in the disaster relief.<br />
  11. 11. Relevant Reporting Prior To Crisis<br />
  12. 12. July 10, 2005: U.S. News and World Report&quot;Big Blow in the Big Easy”<br />(By Dan Gilgoff )<br />Informs readers of the colossal risk New Orleans faced in the weeks leading up to hurricane Katrina. <br />Mentions that the levees were unable to handle a category 4 or 5 hurricane.<br />Predicts extensive damage in the event of a major hurricane in New Orleans<br />
  13. 13. Discusses the mentality of New Orleans residents :<br />&quot;Natives feel we withstood [hurricane] Betsy, so we could withstand anything&quot;<br />Approximately half of New Orleans residents sampled in a LSU survey stated they felt unsafe if a hurricane 3 or higher storm hit.<br />
  14. 14. August 26, 2004: The New York Times. “With Hurricane Charley, a Federal Agency Gets a Chance to Prove Itself”<br />(By Matthew L. Ward) <br /><ul><li>Outlines FEMA’s role in administering aid after Hurricane Charley, a Category 4 storm that hit Florida one year before Hurricane Katrina.</li></ul>FEMA had previously been criticized for its slow and ineffective response in doling out aid after the Sept. 11 attacks.<br />In contrast, FEMA was very effective after Charley. It began moving in supplies before a disaster was declared, and it gave out a wide variety of supplies, ranging from ice to food to tarps.<br />Overall, the article highlights FEMA’s successful distribution after Hurricane Charley, which sharply contrasts its ineffective response to Hurricane Katrina. If the Times had stressed some of the agency’s weaker aspects then it would have been held accountable for prior negligence.<br />

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