Wednesday, March 22, 2006

New Orleans Only Need Apply

Once again, like I sez,
a respected outlet of the American media does a story on Hurricane Katrina and acts like New Orleans is the only place affected:

Let me analyze this a minute. The media, often accused of having the attention span of a first grader, is showing us that it's not gonna let this one go. It's gonna keep writing articles and keeping the issues before the people. Sounds like a mighty heap of integrity, until you realize that what really happened is that the media went down to New Orleans right after Katrina, produced a bushel of shocking images, pumped us full of hurt and horror, and is now capitalizing on that hurt and horror every time they stick the words "New" and "Orleans" in a headline. I read every single thing about New Orleans, don't you? I mean, how can we not?

Meanwhile, they're ignoring 60% of the real story. So it's not really responsible journalism so much as keeping a very profitable (for them) national wound open.

Hey New York Times, what the hell about Alabama and Mississippi? How about Biloxi and Gulfport and Slidell?? For God's sake!!?
Or maybe the fault lies with, which picks the tastiest headlines from the news media to feature on my home page. Either way, if I was from Biloxi I'd be fuming. That is, if I had time to fume in between trying to pick up the pieces of my life.


Blogger Chalicechick said...

I do see what you're saying, but I don't particularly see it as the problem you do for a few reasons.

People losing their homes in rural areas sucks, too, but it happens all the time. Just about every hurricaine or tornado takes out a bunch of rural homes, farms and even sometimes small towns. Every hurricaine does not take out historical landmarks and city that many, many news viewers has visited.

New Orleans is local to people's imaginations in a way that rural Mississippi is not.

Is it fair?

No, but it is not particularly fair that endangered tigers are easier to get angry about and write legislation for than endangered insects. (Even though some people posit that future cancer cures lie in the body chemistry of rare rainforest insects.)

It's just the way people's heads work. If the compelling images on the news keep money coming in to relief organizations, I'm not really all that concerned that their (probably correct) conception of what images will arouse people's emotions does not include reporting that rural people were hit, too.



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