Thursday, October 21, 2010

Media strengthened by Katrina

Following 9/11 the media seemed to have lost their direction. They seemed weak and impotent. And as Rem Rieder wrote, "much of the media seemed cowed, afraid to press too hard, as if questioning the Bush administration's pronouncements about terrorism was somehow unpatriotic."

Then Hurricane Katrina brought disaster to the Gulf Coast. Suddenly, the media were rejuvenated and even virile in their condemnation of incompetent government bureaucrats. In Katrina, "the chasm between the platitudes of the clueless government spokesmen and the ugly reality of New Orleans--the devastation, the misery, the Third World-style chaos--was overwhelming."

"Television's powerful images brought home the unfathomable horrors of New Orleans. Newspapers provided incisive and comprehensive coverage. Local radio served as a lifeline for a devastated region."

Rieder, R. (2005). Playing Big. American Journalism Review, 27(5), 6. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

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