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Media Coverage in Hurricaine Katrina

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Natalie Guest

on 28 March 2011

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Transcript of Media Coverage in Hurricaine Katrina

Broken Levees "Two-Photo Controversy" Uncertainty and Rumours Media's Involvement A critical look at the Media Coverage during Hurricaine Katrina "Lootie" Kanye West “A looter carries a bucket of beer out of a grocery store in New Orleans” (AP) This particular picture started a 'meme' throughout the world starting with many photoshopped pictures featuring "Lootie" as he had been named by many. Several websites were created to capitalize on the racist mockery. West: I hate the way they portray us in the media. You see a black family, it says, "They're looting." You see a white family, it says, "They're looking for food." And, you know, it's been five days [waiting for federal help] because most of the people are black. And even for me to complain about it, I would be a hypocrite because I've tried to turn away from the TV because it's too hard to watch. I've even been shopping before even giving a donation, so now I'm calling my business manager right now to see what is the biggest amount I can give, and just to imagine if I was down there, and those are my people down there. So anybody out there that wants to do anything that we can help -- with the way America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off, as slow as possible. I mean, the Red Cross is doing everything they can. We already realize a lot of people that could help are at war right now, fighting another way -- and they've given them permission to go down and shoot us Looters hit a drug store in the French quarter Disctrict of New Orleans, following Hurricane Katrina. Fresh floods, fires and looting rode in destructive wake of Hurricane Katrina, deepening a humanitarian crisis that left hundreds feared dead and sections of New Orleans submerged to the rooftops. (AFP/ James Nielson) As one person looks through their shopping bag, left, another jumps through a broken window, while leaving a convenience store on the 1-10 service road south, in Metairie, La. Tuesday Aug 30, 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This photo was taken during a helicopter tour of the area that included the governor of Louisiana (AP Photo/Bill Feig, Pool) THere was a one-hour special on NBC broadcast network by NBC news (as well as several others) to help raise money for a the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The rapper, Kanye West, was among the many celebrities who participated in this special. Kanye was one of the two hostas and was given scripted lines to say. However, it appears that overwhealming feelings caused him to go offscript and say something entirely different... Clearly It can be seen that many people were effected by the way the media portrayed certin people. On particular person was Kanye West... Kanye clearly is upset with the "way the media portrays 'us'" and is very upset about the steryotypes given and even comments on the rescue efforts, critizizing the effeciency and insulting Bush. Restrictions and Limitations

- CNN filed a lawsuit and obtained a temporary restraining order against the federal ban that stated that all journalists would have 'zero' access to the rescue efforts of victims.
- Brian Barker, KATU journalist, reported that his team was threatened with automatic weapons by U.S Marshals.
- Lucas Oleniuk, Toronto Star staff, was thrown to the ground by the police after taking several photograps including a firefight between looters and police including an alledged beating of said looter.
- Marko Georgiev was threatened with weapons and had his memory card confiscated after taking photos of a body presumably shot by a police
There was a lot of friction between the truth-seeking journalists and the U.S. Military that took over the rescue efforts in September. This caused much restriction in what the journalists were able to publish... Many representatives of the news media became directly involved with the events that occurred. Due to the loss of communication, (Land-based and cellular telephones for example) the reporters became one of the most important methods of communication between the victims and the authorities.
Example
Located groups of stranded victims and reported their location (via Satellite link)
At one stage all newspaper coverage was carried on NOLA blogs which were monitered constantly by rescue teams and anxious families looking for signs of missing loved ones.
Naturally there are many different opinions on this idea. To Tom Rostensiel, who is a journalist, it is "an in invitation to Chaos".



Censoring Reasoning behind this is simple, they wanted to 'respect' the deceased and avoid upsetting several citizens further.

FEMA reported that "the recovery of victims is being treated with dignity and upmost respect we requested not to have any photographs of the deceased be made by the media.
The media in hurricane Katrina were told to censore their photographs and videos, not allowing any pictures of the deceased to public. By refusing to show images of the reality of the situation, the media left out a main part of the disaster and possibly gave the public a different impression of the situation in heavily-hit areas. "It's impossible for me to imagine how you report a story whose subject is death without allowing the public to see images of the subject of the story," said Larry Siems of the PEN American Center "You cannot report on the disaster and give the public a realistic idea of how horrible it is if you don't see that there are bodies as well." "Let's not make a common-decency issue into a censorship issue," Tapscott said. "Nobody wants to wake up in the morning and see their dead uncle on the front page. That's just common decency."

FEMA
Refuses hundreds of personelle, dozens of vehicles
Wont let Red Cross deliver food
Fails to utilize Navy ship (with 600 bed hospital)
Wont accept Amtracks Help
Turns back Wall-Mart Supply trucks
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-050902daley,1,2011979.story http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05246/565143.stm http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0509040369sep04,1,4144825.story http://news.ft.com/cms/s/84aa35cc-1da8-11da-b40b-00000e http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/05/national/nationalspecial/05blame.html Cover up? Its clear that there were many aspects of the rescue efforts that were less than satisfactory but some of the facts are unbeleivable yet little to no stories have gone on the main media. Does this suggest signs of a cover up? Many reporters became very emotionally involved with the situation and numerous cases of rumours about the situation at the convention center where the refugees were kept, for example, were widespread and very terrifying. However the reliability of these rumours are uncertain due to lack of evidence and contradicting statements from the authorities While there were many cases of reported 'looting' during the crisis, there were also more serious reports of rape, murder and 'lawlessness' among the victims. One reporter, Geraldo Rivera, tearfully pleaded authorities to send help or let people leave and compared the convention center (where the victims were kept) to ' Willowbrook State School'.

There were many people who backed up these theories including local police and several reporters but there were also many who went against these claims, interporating these rumours as 'yellow journalism' In this case, Yellow Journalism is wher journalists uses exaggeration of non-existant events and inaccurate news coupled with eye-catching headlines to sell newspapers. With so many contradictory arguments on both sides and an unsurprising lack of evidence (since the reporters were not permitted in certain areas) it is very unclear what actually happened in the convention center during those critical times... AP - Associated Press
A young man walks though chest deep flood water after LOOTING a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug 30, 2005. Flood waters continue to rise in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina did extensive damage when it... AFP - Agence France Presse
Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans, Louisianna (AFP/ Getty Images/ Chris Graythen) There were many reports of the levees, holding the water from the misssissippi river back, being broken before the hurricane hit, causing damage to the black community living in New Orleans.
From bombs to Cold War Weapons to suspicious barges in the industrial Canal, there are many theories for this happening but the question is, where are the articles on this event?
For the barge theory, one story was found but it has been "scrubbed" from the main Minneapolis Star Tribune website and replaced with a totally different story. A change of Heart or is this slightly supicious? During the initial news coverage, some media outlets tried to explain away the time discrepancy as a "secondary storm surge" off of Lake Pontchartrain. Hurricanes DO NOT create "secondary storm surges" only one main one.
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