News of the devastating hurricane Katrina and its economic, political, social, and humanitarian consequences dominated global headlines in an unprecedented manner when this natural catastrophe struck the region of New Orleans in mid August 2005 (Katrinacoverage.com). As a tradition, large-scale disasters like Katrina, inevitably, bring out a combination of the best and the worst news media instincts. As such, during the height of Hurricane Katrina’s rage, many journalists for once located their gag reflex and refused to swallow shallow and misleading excuses and explanations from public officials. Nevertheless, the media’s eagerness to report thinly substantiated rumors may have played a key role in bringing about cultural wreckage that may take the American society years to clean up.
To begin with, anybody privy to the events in New Orleans that ensued after Hurricane Katrina struck knows that horrible things that had nothing to do with natural causes happened: there were murders, gunfire directed at a rescue helicopter, assaults and, courtesy of New Orleans’ city police department, a myriad other crimes that most probably went unreported (Katrinacoverage.com).
However, despite being regarded as unnecessary rumors by a section of the American society and government, many media people and houses reported harrowing incidents of murder, rape, carjacking and assaults. There were also media reports about a significant number of urban legends who sprouted at the height of the commotion brought about by Hurricane Katrina – systematic children rapists and a 7-year-old’s throat being slit. However, media reports aside, these contentions remain just that. Nevertheless, although a significant count of th...
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..., the two internationally-acclaimed newspapers left the issue of whether there were murders open.
Even as late as today, actual, real events that occurred or did not occurred in New Orleans go beyond the imagination. While most media coverage appeared to be more inclined toward creating urban myths, the reality was atrocious.
Brauer, Ralph. The Strange Death of Liberal America. New York: Praeger Publishers,
2006, pp. 216.
Carr, David. Did the Media Overdo It? Web 2005. Accessed December 8, 2013, from
Katrinacoverage.com. Superdome: New Orleans Saints to return for 2006. Web 2005.
Accessed December 8, 2013, from< http://katrinacoverage.com/tag/superdome>
Maynard Institute. TV News, Race and Katrina. Web 2005. Accessed December 8,
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