Atmosphere And Weather

A look at Media Coverage of Hurricane Katrina



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The first footage of the devastation in New Orleans and the surrounding areas, left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, was a shock to the entire world. No one was really prepared to see the water that seemed to cover the whole State and the tens of thousands of stranded residents who were wandering around as if they were in a complete state of shock.

According to Wikipedia.com, the first television images from New Orleans after the devastation, was from KTRK, based in Houston. They flew their helicopter to New Orleans in the days after the storm to survey the area and the damages.

As the news camera pan the length of the land, nothing was visible but the tops of houses, tree tops and water, there was water every where - almost as far as the eye could see. When reporters told their audience the scenes they are ready to show 'may be disturbing to some viewers'; never has a statement been more accurate.

The scenes were heartbreaking and most people sitting safely in the comfort of their homes, sipping on a cool beverage, could not imagine something of that magnitude happening to them. Even though it was a terrible thing to see, most people stayed glued to their televisions - awaiting more footage and more stories about the people in the 'Big Easy' who were forced to live as savages, without even the basic necessitous of life - food, clean water and shelter. 

Immediately, the news stations realized this was a story of world-wide interest, all regular television programs were ceased and full coverage of the hurricane and the aftermath of the hurricane was on almost all of the regular news stations, as well as local stations. There were vivid shots of dead bodies lining the streets, bloated bodies were floating in the water and some were even seated in lounge chairs, covered with blankets by their loved ones or someone passing by.

Many people criticized the news stations for showing the images that were 'not suitable for children'. Others were thankful for any information about what was really happening in those areas most affected by the storm. Looting and crime sprees became a common occurrence and footage was shown of people taking items and others reported on people telling of instances when they were victimized by criminals.

After several days of non-stop reporting and coverage, most Americans and people all over the world began to wonder exactly how long the displaced residents would have to suffer through their present circumstances. Reporters, residents and non-residents put the bulk of the blame for the prolonged suffering and for the slow rescue attempts on the standing President, George W. Bush.

Still, many others blamed the victims themselves for not leaving the area when they were warned of impending devastation, several days before the storm hit. Many years have passed since more than 1,800 people lost their lives, since thousands of families said 'good-night' to their loved ones for the last time and since millions of residents affected by Hurricane Katrina lost everything, in an instant.

Many more years will have to pass before the true horror of the infamous Hurricane Katrina can be personally dealt with by those who were directly and indirectly involved.

Since the hurricane that caused New Orleans to shut down and claimed the lives of so many people has been gone, the news coverage is almost at zero except for the occasional short story about the progress or lack of progress of the rebuilding and revitalization of the much-loved area. Hopefully, in this case - no news is good news.


References;

1] CNN.com/SPECIALS/2005/katrina/

 2] MSNBC.MSN.com/id/9107338/

3] News.NationalGeographic.com/news/2005/09/0902_050902_katrina_coverage.html

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