BBC Viewpoint: Has Katrina saved US media?

"Instead of secretive “Deep Throat” meetings in car-parks, cameras captured the immediate reality of what was happening at the New Orleans Convention Center, making a mockery of the stalling and excuses being put forward by those in power.

“Amidst the horror, American broadcast journalism just might have grown its spine back, thanks to Katrina.”

"At the end of an unforgettable week, one broadcaster on Friday bitterly encapsulated the sense of burning shame and anger that many American citizens are feeling.

"The only difference between the chaos of New Orleans and a Third World disaster operation, he said, was that a foreign dictator would have responded better. "

Someone at the Beeb doesn’t like Bush.

Aren’t you mixing things? It’s an American journalist who criticises Bush, and the BBC reports on American journalism getting its spine back.

“Amidst the horror, American broadcast journalism just might have grown its spine back, thanks to Katrina.”

Doubtful. The media here is all about ratings. People want to see the chaos, the media outlet has the capability, and the advertisers put up the funds for it. Money money money money.

Anybody know who the “one broadcaster on Friday” was? That line is being parroted everywhere, without attribution…

One can only hope. If the press had a spine in 2004, the election might not have turned out as it did.

Did anyone see some of the comments at the bottom of the article :-

Just stay on your side of the pond and defend your reporting methods, as vague and useless as they are over here. Congrats, cheerio
Neil Holloran, VA, USA

As a proud southern American your article is so far from the truth I don’t even now where to begin. What I read is a liberal, European, elitist view of this absolute tragedy. Americans will help each other regardless of colour or social level. As for aid from other nations, I for one say leave it. We can and will rebuild the ravaged areas ourselves.
Tracie Dixon, Sand Springs, Oklahoma

I hope that this isn’t the viewpoint of most Americans.

I see the second comment has disappeared from the article. I assure you that is was there when I first looked. :confused:

I saw that too. Typical of the xenophobic super patriot type. Not typical of Americans.

The comment from the man in Virginia was still attached to the article when I just checked it. There are just many more of them and it has been dropped down the list.

The BBC is being overly optimistic. American media hasn’t got its spine back. We saw a temporary display of actual reporting due to the extraordinary circumstances. There was a bit of this around 9/11, as well. Rest assured, things will be back to normal in a few weeks, or days.

You’ll know when the conventional wisdom among the pundits is that this was a failure of the local governments, not the Department of Homeland Security or FEMA, and especially not the Bush Administration. I think it will will take until mid-September to get this done.

I’ve already had a conservative friend of mine tell me that this is all the fault of the New Orleans government. And he’s insistent on it. He speaks of the culture of corruption and how that led to looting also.

Sadly, no. The 24-hour media can be useful in times like this, and yes they have miraculously grown a pair in questioning the current admin, but once this is over it’ll be back to all missing upper caste females of prime reproductive age, all the time.

The second comment now includes this amazing statement:

I had to read this six or seven times before I could believe that Mr. David Augustine of Mandham, New Jersey was actually willing to write such a thing. Nobody predicted Hurricane Katrina? NOBODY knew that the hurricane that had killed people in Florida was in the Gulf? So this just took all the weather people by total surprise? They just had no idea when it would make landfall, huh?

The extent people will go to to defend their chosen political hero has reached levels I did not think possible.

Unfortunately, it seems to be. The Dope is a bastion of intelligence and reason. Even when we disagree, we use cites, facts, proof. We avoid logical fallacies. We cleave to honor and integrity and a structure of proof and refutation.

But for much of America, ad hominem fallacies are their sole mode of thought. “That appeared in a paper from Europe! Europe sucks! So it must be false!”

It’s sad.

Very cogent analysis. I think it may take until October and all the reportage will never fully get explained away, but the Pubbie spin machine will work its magic on Katrina, rest assured.