And Now… The Coverage of the Coverage

Slate readers responded to a call for comments asking what they hated most about the Katrina disaster recovery (part 1, part 2). The qualms seem to accurately identify how the media reacts and covers almost every story, so no big surprises:

hate the fundamental dishonesty of 24/7 coverage. Because it’s in their economic interests to keep you watching as long as possible, the networks never allow the possibility that the story has zenithed and that you can stay informed if you check back in a couple of hours. Instead, every new fire and helicopter mission — anything that looks “disastery” is treated with the same urgency as the first news of the levee giving way. Today, Sunday, Sept. 4, the networks are panning the empty streets with the same intensity as they did the crowds of victims lined up outside the Convention Center a couple of days ago

Titles that announce a news story, such as “America Responds” on Fox.

In 10 minutes of watching Telemundo, three of which covered New Orleans, I really got a better depiction of being there than I did on all the major U.S. networks that I had been watching for several hours, and I don’t speak any Spanish.

Previous coverage of the coverage: Crisis News Networks: Sloganizing Katrina, Hurricane Katrina Spares Sensationalist Media