Monday, January 18, 2010

One Hell of a Week

There are a lot of stories to talk about this week. A lot is going on in the news. Some of it seems humorous such as the Leno-Conan-NBC debacle. But the biggest story is definitely the insufferable Hell that the victims of Haiti have been put through. I hope you've seen some of the coverage. If not, I wish you would. It takes really big events to change how news is covered. The first war in Iraq gave us constant access to the front lines of a War in real time. Katrina gave us real time constant coverage of our own national disaster. I'm left wondering what Haiti will do to news coverage. One thing i've noticed is that the actual journalists are actively engaging with the disaster. Katie Couric held a child while his broken leg was being reset. Both of his parents were killed in the earthquake. She has vowed to do whatever's necessary to care for the boy. CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta worked at a field hospital while reporting and was later called to perform a brain surgery. Anderson Cooper rescued a boy who had been injured in a looting. The newest form of philanthropy evolved when record amounts of money were raised for Haiti simply by people texting the red cross to donate via their cell phone bill. I'm not even sure what to ask but i know that Haiti is THE STORY. Perhaps the biggest story we've had since Katrina. I think i'm a bit biased however. I am a former journalist, who now teaches media studies, so i have an interest in paying attention to this stuff. What about yourself? Have you been watching the coverage? What has interested you? What have you liked or disliked about the story? What are some of the high points and some of the low points? Now that we are a week into this story, do you think interest has lessened? Are journalists becoming too active in their stories? What will you remember?

23 comments:

Tanya Mathews said...

As with any major disaster, everyone wants to keep up to date on news coverage. I think the story from Haiti that touched me the most was the story of the dead woman that had a small bundle lying atop her covered body. A tiny foot was sticking out from under the blanket. These types of stories touches the hearts of many, but the devastation is still profound. I know that WCBI carried a story last night of a place in Columbus that is packing five gallon buckets with different types of supplies to send to Haiti to help with the relief effort. The United States seems to step up to the plate wherever disaster strikes and makes huge efforts to assist those that have lost everything. I don’t watch a lot of television, but sometimes I do try to somewhat track breaking news on the internet. With both of us disabled, most days I have to spend what little energy I have taking care of my husband as we don’t have a personal care attendant for him at the moment. If I’ve missed something and he feels that it’s something that I should know about, he tells me or tells me where to find the story. I find that most journalist are to be commended on being on the frontlines in order to report firsthand the information to the public. However, it seems that as time passes, not enough interest is shown by the public and the reports are less forthcoming as to how the efforts are coming along.

Anita Griffin said...

I have been trying to catch the coverage almost every night, plus I try to keep up with it on the internet. Some of the low points are the looting and the fights breaking out which in this type of situation it is very hard to keep control of things. I never knew Haiti was that poor of a country. It saddens me to see so many people killed and to hear the stories that the people tell of loosing their love ones. There are so many kids without their parents/families. I was watching Channel 16 a couple of nights ago and apparently this young lady was from Haiti, but was not in Haiti at the time the earthquake hit. She said when she heard the news she thought about her family and thought they had died in the earthquake. I did not catch the whole story, only the part towards the end. However, she spoke with her sister and her sister told her do not cry, everybody is fine, we lost everything, we are out on the streets, but we are okay. Another devastation issue is to see the people of Haiti waiting on water and food supply to reach them. Everyone is moving as fast as their can, but to the people of Haiti it must seem like a lifetime. I know there are not enough doctors and nurses to get to everyone. The death toll keeps climbing and climbing.

Some of the high points are to see different countries stepping in and donating so many millions of dollars, and of course, we (The United States) were quick to respond as usual with the United States donating millions and millions of dollars. This country was already poor and the earthquake just brought more devastation. Families living in the streets, begging for help, and looking for love ones. And just when you thought matters could not get any worse, the most powerful aftershock since the earthquake, a
6.1 temblor, which brought even more devastation.

I do not think the interest of people has lessened any more today than a week ago. I think everyone is just so interested to see the people of Haiti get help and something this drastic seems to get everyone’s attention. I think journalists do become too active in their stories. I worry about the safety of journalists. Some journalists will do whatever it takes, and will travel anywhere to get their storyline. I applaud them for doing their job and doing their job very well, because I know someone has to do it, but endangering their lives is not worth it. I will remember seeing the people in the streets crying and searching for love ones. I will remember the generosity of the United States and other countries how they pull together to help out the people of Haiti.

Zack Harrington said...

The earthquake in Haiti has certainly been an unfortunate natural disaster. Since the earthquake, I have tried to catch details of rescue efforts everyday. The media has done a good job keeping people updated on the status of recovery efforts, and they have done it the right way. The media really seems dedicated to the people of Haiti and their well-being. As mentioned, Anderson Cooper and others have been directly involved in recovery efforts. Not only does this portray the sincere sympathy of these individuals, but our country as whole. I am proud of our anchors and the job they are doing in Haiti.
The low point in this story has to be the uncertainty of these people going forward. Coverage has shown that many victims are leaving on ships to anywhere and others are living day to day. It is sad to know that many of these people have no idea what they are going to do next.
I think the coverage of this disaster will remain extensive for a few more weeks. Still to this day, new stories appear that grab the attention of viewers. I hope the anchors continue to be directly involved in recovery efforts because it neccessary, and I think their efforts will be what I remember most. (alongside the impact of this disaster)

Melvin Hayes said...

I have been watching the coverage on Haiti since the beginning. I’ve had an interest in many aspects of the story. With respect to the disaster itself (i.e. earthquake), I think it is interesting to see the changes that are taking place on our planet all across the country. In this day, we are all susceptible to some type natural disaster. As I watch the coverage, I appreciate that the media is actually taking the time to cover the story. To say that Haiti needs a lot of help is an understatement. From financial help, to mental help for the victims, to medical help, the rebuilding process for that country will be a long and arduous process. It is heartbreaking to see what the Haitians are going through.

I think the high points in this situation are when I see injured people on the streets helping other injured people, rescue teams coming to the aid of the people, food being delivered, and donations pouring into different charitable organizations. The low points are seeing injured people not being able to get help, especially the elderly and children. Furthermore, with one million homeless people out there, that has to be one of the most hopeless feelings to have. Another low point was when Pat Robertson said that the Haitians were cursed because they made a deal with the devil to free them from French colonial rule. I’ve heard many ignorant statements in my day, but Pat should win an Oscar for that one.

I do not believe that interest in the story has lessoned. I continue to see coverage on both conservative and liberal new stations and fund raising efforts are still in progress. Of course there is more coverage in the left wing media. As someone who was, on some level, a victim of Katrina, I understand the importance of helping those in need. I think that everyone who received assistance from FEMA, a donation from the Red Cross, or any other organization, should have the decency to send something, even if it is as little as $1. I understand the need for journalists to cover these stories, but they need to be really careful. It’s one thing to want to get the big story, but in doing so, they should be very careful. There are prisoners on the loose in addition to many other people who are going wild due to the horrible conditions they are facing. There aren’t ample police, so the reality is that Haiti is not a safe place right now. Whenever I see any types of tragedies, more than the demise of the infrastructure, or other external conditions, I always remember the images of injured people and the look in their eyes. That’s something I never forget. The next thing I will remember is the rate at which help is sent. Looking in a person’s eyes makes me think “what if this was me.” And the response of aid to the people lets me know how soon I would be taken care of it I was in the same situation.

Alvin McKinley said...

It is the most unfortunate thing that disasters claim so many lives. While watching the news cast, I have found out that 3 million people were affected by the earthquake. I knew that Haiti was a very poor and I can understand better the mob violence and disorder that happens after such a disaster. Haiti was always a criminal setting and I think a lot of people living in Haiti are used to witnessing the violence and distraction. I am convinced that the most significant regret that these people have is the loss of lives, loss of loved ones and loss of everything little that they had. For many of Haitian this means they will have to start over and live their lives from scratch while trying to adjust to the life after the disaster.
I was impressed how quickly the relief efforts have arrived and how a lot of countries pitch in to help. Of course, the United States showed once again to be first to respond to the disaster. And I can understand why, our country has the resources and means to provide such help. The United States is the closest major country in the vicinity of Haiti. I also like how the technology is a means to offer the assistance such as a donation from a personal cell phone.
It is a good thing that the media covers this disaster in such a detail. First, it helps people be concerned of what I going on in other countries. I would imagine, a lot of people would not know where Haiti is or who would not know about the situation in that country. Well, for that matter, I have even seen some number of miles on Fox News showing the distance to Florida. I am convinced that after the hurricane Katrina, people in the United States are more likely to respond to such a disaster. It does not hit far from home and many people were affected or disturbed by Hurricane Katrina to have a sympathetic ear towards the disaster in Haiti. I am taking a class in English Composition and one of the topics we covered was argumentative rhetoric that uses ethos, logos and pathos. Certainly, the story in Haiti has a lot of footage to appeal to someone’s emotions. And the ethos is used when a well known anchor covers the story. Lastly, the logos being that the help is urgent and needed since many people are aware that this situation can happen anywhere, even here at home.
I think that journalists are always active when comes down to responding to a major disaster. The networks are fighting for their share of viewers and whatever company manages to capture the situation with more empathy and appeal, wins. I am convinced that there are many dedicated journalists out there who are willing to be in front line and put themselves in a danger situation.
I will certainly remember the footage of make shift hospitals, kids no hope in their eyes, mob fighting and looting that goes on. It is certainly a chaotic situation.

Jessica Williams said...

Jessica Williams
Blog 2
There is so much going on in the media about the Haiti disaster and I feel that the country would have no chance of recovery if it were not for the attention that the media is drawing. I have watched a good bit of it but I guess I’m one of those sentimental people who can only watch it so much before it depresses me because I wish I could help more than I have. I really like that everyone is so involved in the aid of the country. We have sent almost 15000 troops and I don’t even know how much money, and that is an amazing gift to those trying to just survive the terrible disaster. On Yahoo they have a section that I like that is the Trending Now, and the Haiti issues is number one and has been. This shows how much attention that is being drawn to the country by our news. There are countless organizations and political members trying to bring our attention to the matter of helping. I read that former President Clinton is going to visit and among many others. I like how musicians use their influences with the younger generations to make them realize the severity of the earthquake and the help that is needed. I truly believe that if it weren’t for the efforts of all these people and organizations that most of the world would have never paid much attention to the catastrophic natural disaster.

The only thing that I honestly feel reluctant about the whole thing is sending in money. I was at the dollar store the other day and they had a jar at the checkout that said Haiti Disaster Relief. I just for some reason can not bring myself to believe that that money actually gets there. Maybe, I’m just one of those people who don’t trust people trying to do good because there are so many people out there scamming the world for their own personal benefits. I was particularly interested in the phone company using the football game Saturday night to raise money to help through people texting in and the money being added to their bill. That to me is a more believable relief program because that was nationally seen and there will have to be someone out there that makes sure the money actually gets to Haiti. After a week of the coverage I have to say I am no less interested in the country or their state of being, I would say that I am even more interested. The more that I hear about it, the more that I feel for these people. The media and journalist are doing an amazing job and I do not feel that they are becoming to active in the story, because someone has to help these people and why cant they be the ones to do it. The Katie Couric story that you mentioned in your blog touched me because I cant imagine how that child must feel losing his parents and then being hurt and completely alone. She is an amazing woman for taking on that kind of responsibility. From all of this I will remember hearing that “our country has enough problems and we should be focusing on fixing them not worrying about another country’s disaster” but I would hope that if something of this sort happened to us there would be people out there that would do the same for our country. After everything I will always remember the pictures of the devastation and the dedication of everyone that is taking part in the relief.

Laura said...

I noticed that there has been lots of coverage about the disaster in Haiti. I watched Good Morning America one morning and there was a story about a lady that was financially supporting her family in Haiti. I watched Good Morning America again this morning and there was a follow up story about her family. The reporter was able to locate her sister, brother in law, and a few more family members, but she had family that did not make it. What was amazing to me was that the house built by their grandfather remained standing but the more modern building collapsed. I think a low point right now is that medical help has arrived but they need so much more help. I do think th media and journalists have reported the story first hand and have become personal with the story. What I will remember about this story is the scale of disaster and how long it will take to rebuild their country. It truly is sad how many lives were affected.

Chris said...

I have only followed some of the recovery efforts going on in Haiti via the internet articles on Yahoo and CNN.com. This tragedy has literally destroyed thousands of people's lives, but it is great to see our nation coming to the aid of Haiti using so many resources. Artist, politicians, corporations and even the President of the United States have launched unprecedented efforts to send relief to these hurting people. One of the most interesting aspects of the relief effort in the media is how members of opposing parties, conservative and liberal, can come together and place their ideological differences aside to aid those in need. As if things weren't bad enough in Haiti, the aftershock of the primary earthquake has left thousands more in peril. Although coverage of this disaster has been ongoing since the beginning, I do not believe that interest has lessened. Tonight, artist from around the world participated in a Haiti Telethon which encouraged people to get involved in the help effort. Top players of the NBA came together to donate funds in the relief effort as well. There is clearly a devotion in the media and from the American people to help this nation torn apart by disaster. I will remember some of the heart breaking images of families torn apart by this event, homes lost, families in the streets waiting for any type of relief, children without parents, and a situation that seems hopeless. Moreover, I will remember a seemingly world wide effort to uplift and restore the people of Haiti. I will remember the sacrifices shown in the media by countless celebrities and citizens around the United States. I believe extensive coverage of this event will continue to be at the forefront of new stories for weeks to come.

Brandy Stuart said...

This disaster has effected everyone. When I heard about the earthquake I didn't know any details. I was actually in the gym at work. When I got home and watched the 10:00 news and found myself in shock and disbelif. My weeknes is children. They are inacent. I just grabed my two small boys and said thank you lord for my children safty and be with the families that arent. I have tried to keep up with what is going on but I haven't been on top of it lately until I watched some of the Hope for Hatti lastnight. I think what interested me was How americans are struggling and tring to stay above the water but we always go and help, or lend a hand where it is needed. I think one of the high points is that our news people are not only over lending a hand in covering the story they are helping. The low point is that American were over there tring to lend a hand when this happended and either lost their life are can't be found. I don't think that the story has lessened because I want them to find each person that is lost so that the families can have a closer. I am very proud of our Journalist for bein active and doing not only their jobs of covering the story but helping. I am sure that I want forget the small children that are homeless and parentless.

Taryn Holland said...

The situation in Haiti is one to be remembered for a lifetime. This is one of the poorest countries that is going through this devastating time. The news says there is an estimated range of 50,000 to 200,000 dead. It is incredible to think that you can go along with your daily routine one day and the next be looking for your family members after a major tragedy.
An incredible story I read not too long ago was about a son missing and a mother truly believing he was still alive. She told reporters that she could hear him calling to her and went to find anybody she could to pull him out of the rubble. French and American doctors as well as many others came to help this poor young man and when they found his shoulder they were able to pull him out. He had been trapped for ten days. Though he was skinny and dehydrated, he survived. A mother's belief and love for her son made ten terrible days into a great reunion.
There are probably a lot of amazing stories among all the sad ones. I have seen a lot of commercials asking Americans to donate $10 just through sending a text. If everyone does their part this horrible story can get some relief. I do believe the interest has lessened. There are still stories being delivered but not as much as at the beginning. People get upset by this, but you can not expect one story to take up all news coverage for a long period of time. They are sharing stories, but not as much and that is to be expected. The story I will remember the most is first and foremost how many lives were lost but also that incredible story of a mother and her son and how she did everything she could to save his life.

noelle carlin said...

The world is a curious place, we all want to know what others are going through. For example, people felt bad about what happened during Katrina and in Iraq, but most did not help with physical help. Now that the US is in a financial bind, we as a society strive to help more with physical help then with just giving money. Like you stated more of the journalists and other volunteers are going there to help with whatever they can. There was a man from an orphanage that was interviewed last night during the "Hope for Haiti Now" that said that he turns away more than 80 children each month because there is no room. He continued to say that since there will be more orphans he does not know what the orphanage will do because people are breaking into the building to steal whatever they can. Personally, I feel that people should want and desire to help build a bigger orphanage that is safer first.

People in this country feel like we can help any country at the beginning of any situation. However, when it comes down to actually helping, there is barely anyone and as the situation gets older, the less people seem to care. When it came to the war, journalists were more involved in the stories, trying to get the best stories. Now the journalists actually care about the people, not just who has the better story, and that to me makes for a better journalist and story. It shows the world the realism of the situation and the problems that they are going through. The situation touches people's hearts and we want to help by nature. I just wish that more people would want to help physically not just financially.

Lucky said...

When I first heard about the earthquake, I was hoping that it was not as bad as everyone said. I knew that Haiti was a very poor country, and it would be hard for this country to rebuild. After viewing the first stories of the earthquake, I was horrified. I have a really big imagination and pictured the damage to be really bad. I was hoping that I would not be right, but I was.

I saw the damage that Hurricane Katrina caused the Gulf Coast, and I knew how long it has taken them to start to rebuild. My heart went out for the people in Haiti. I knew that it has taken so long for the people on the Coast to rebuild, I fear that it might take decades for this country to ever be the same.

The high points of this event, if there can be, are the stories of the survivors. Yes, they might not have anything and be physically hurt, but they are survivors. If they can live through this and come out smiling, then I have no doubt that they will survive. A low point would be finding out that help is reaching the people slowly. Help is getting to the country, but a lot of the help is going to the people who need it the least.

It is okay for people to take an active role in what they are doing. I do not think that the journalist could report of stories about Haiti without feeling the need to help. If a journalist could do this, then they are not human.

From this experience, I will remember all the children. Even though they have lost their homes, parents and friends, they were still able to smile and wave at the cameras.

Sandy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandy said...

The disaster in Haiti has definitely sparked a high interest within media news coverage. I believe that many people have an interest in following this story. Personally, I have tried to follow the story via television and internet when possible. Something that has been of a particular interest to me regards the fact that several couples in America have been waiting to adopt orphans from Haiti. This unexpected disaster created even more anxiety for these expectant parents. Many of these expectant parents have been waiting patiently in hopes to hear that their adopted child/children are still alive. While I believe the news coverage does a good job in relaying information to the American people, it is also very sad to see the poor conditions of the Haitian people. It is especially disheartening to hear that children are suffering or have died. It is also horrible to know that there are still people trapped underneath tons of debris holding on to the hopes of being rescued.

Some of the high points regarding this story regard the aid that the American people are providing. We have the military assisting along with many medical professionals. The Haitian orphans have also had the opportunity to come to America for assistance. Also, several orphans that have been awaiting adoption have been found alive. While there are many high points to this story, there are numerous low points as well. For example, Haiti’s government called off the search for survivors of the earthquake. Many people are still missing underneath the rubble and could possibly still be alive today. When I hear such horrible news, I often wonder if they are doing all that can be done to save these people. Another low point regards the fact that Hugo Chavez blamed the United States for the earthquake. He actually believes that the earthquake was cause by a United States experimental shockwave system. In my opinion, Chavez’s speculation is way out of character since the United States has graciously provided exceptional aid to the Haitian people.

In regards to the interest of this story, I believe that the news coverage will continue to excel. I believe many will continue to express interest in this story, especially since a number of Haitian orphans are now living in the United States. I definitely do not believe the interest has lessened. I also believe that with this news coverage being such high priority, many journalists have become too involved. According to the news, many journalists have used this coverage as a means to promote themselves. This particular story has without a doubt made history in our country today. I will remember the sad stories of numerous people being trapped under debris and the poor children that have had to suffer due to such a horrible disaster.

Jack Elliott III said...

I have been watching a great deal of media attention surronding Haiti. This story has interested me because of everyone who has come together to help the people of Haiti. Everyone coming together in the West to help the people of Haiti is what I like the most. Everyone from singers, doctors, and just average joes have pitched in to help. People are sending lots of money, and many doctors have travelled to Haiti to help however they can.

The main high point is the many doctors and other people who have travelled to Haiti to personaly help the people of Haiti. I guess one of the low points has been the time it takes to get supplies to the people. One doctor said that the supplies where at the airport, but it was impossible for the supplies to get to them for now because they were still bottle necked at the airport. I do not believe the stoty has lesson espically after the after shock was a 6.1. Which caused even more damage to the country. I do not believe that journalist are being to acitve. This is an important story, and any help that they can do to bring more support to Haiti is great. What I will take back and always remeber is the pictures I saw on sixty minutes of hundreds of dead bodies being piled into a truck. The doctor there said that they were being taken to be buired in mass graves which shocked me greatly. I will always remeber that forever.

Vanessa Collier said...

I don't think you can help but keep up with what is going on in Haiti. The devastation is just unreal. My heart goes out to everyone that was affected in this horrific disaster. The United States is stepping in to lend a hand in any way possible. I believe that says alot about the U.S. and the kind of Country we are. I believe some of the high points would have to be all of the help the U.S. is sending to Haiti, such as, medical attention, staff, and food. The Hope for Haiti Telethon that was broadcast on Friday helped raised millions and millions of dollars. The total money that has been raised so far is $57 million, and still counting. Another high point to me, is the rescuers pulling a Haitian man from deep under the rubble. This shop clerk was rescued 11 days after the devastating earthquake. He was in good condition when they pulled him to safety. He survived by drinking cola, beer, and eating cookies.

I think the number one lowest point would have to be the death toll. Over 200,000 people are dead, and thousands upon thousands are homeless. It breaks my heart to hear of all the children left orphaned because their parents were killed. Another unfortunate problem that has really affected me, is that these people are not getting a proper burial. There are so many dead bodies; the workers are digging huge holes and buring 10,000 bodies at one time.

I definitely don't think that the interest has lessened. I think that we will be hearing and reading about the tragedy for a very long time. The people of Haiti have nothing; their country is destroyed. They will have to rebuild and restore life as they once knew it; however, they will need continueous outside help to accomplish this feat. I believe our journalist will want to cover the whole rebuilding phase, and let us know how the country and people are doing.

I don't think the journalist are becoming too active in their stories. I believe they love what they do, and they want to experience these stories from within. I tip my hat to these people; they risk their lives to help us understand what is going on, so we can stay informed. That takes alot of dedication and courage.

I will always remember seeing all of the homeless people setting up camp in their tents. It just made me realize how lucky I am to have everything that I have, and it makes me thankful that I live in such a generous and helpful country.

Hartman said...

As an IT guy, I am particularly interested by the roles technology plays during events such as the Haiti relief effort. Advances in video technology allow us to view live video anywhere in the world, even in these most resource-restricted environments. The technology advances that made the text donations possible relate to cellular, electronic billing and payment systems, social networks, and more. We are not only consuming the news on television, we are consuming online too - text, photographs, and video. All the major networks are providing coverage, but so are scores of bloggers and other citizen journalists. Coverage is not just at major news sites, but also on Twitter, Facebook, amazon.com, and iTunes. These new technologies allow us to feel connected to the news like never before. The Haiti disaster experience will change the way news is covered, and likewise, the way news is consumed.

Mary Catherine Carmichael said...

The earthquake in Haiti is the most horific disaster that I have ever seen. There is no way I could even beging to know how this people feel. All the news media are doing a excellent job of keeping this public well informed. I thnk that showing the media actually helping these people and not just being there for a story has made all us stop and take a long look at just a few of the things that need to be done.

I was watching the news the other night and when they showed the rescue workers pulling the little boy from under all the rubble of a building after being trapped for all those days I cried. He reached up his little arms as in victory.

This is a poor county with little resources to help themselves now and it is up to the rest of the world to lead a hand to help them to recover. The "Hope for Haiti" telethon was sponsored by celebraties and helped to raise 57 million dollars. Sometimes I think it takes disasters to bring the world together. My heart just aches for this nation and wonders if they will ever be able to recover from this.

On a different note I read that President Chevez is blaming the US for the earthquake. He claims that the US Navy was conducting experiments with some type of underground missles and caused the earthquake. They were testing the missles to launch them undergoung at Iran and destroy Iran with earthquakes. I thought this was the most outrageous thing I have ever heard. I fail to understand why the country that is there to help everyone else is blamed for everything that happens. Nonetheless the news media just keeps getting better with every disaster or war. The coverage is one the spot and we are actually there where the action is taking place.

Paul Miller said...

When I first heard of the earthquake in Haiti, it was at the break room at work. I did not think much of it until I got home and saw the full story. You could tell the reporters were not exaggerating what was going on. You could see it. The magnitude of the destruction was overwhelming.
What I thought was amazing is how people in our country are coming together to send relief to the victims. Even with so many people out of work, Americans are sending money in record amounts. This says something about the compassion we have for others in need. Another high point is the story of those that made the lifelong commitment to bring orphans into their homes.
The lowest point was the remarks made by Pat Robinson. I do not understand why he would say Haiti is cursed. It was an insensitive comment. Also, it was sad when the Haitian government called off the rescue effort. I believe that there are still people alive underneath the rubble.
I do not believe that interest in the story has lessened. As a matter of fact, there will be stories about Haiti for years to come. With the rebuilding of the country, the displacement of all those people, and the political turmoil, there will be many more stories to come. I do not think that the journalists covering this story were being too involved. I feel that they were moved by what was going on and wanted to help.

Ken Holm said...

I watched some of the initial coverage. The magnitude of this disaster is beyond my comprehension. I imagine it is similar to what an urban area might be like after an all out assault.

It is heartening to hear some of the rescue stories. Even as recently as yesterday, closing in on two weeks after the quake, some people are still being plucked out alive. The highest point I know of is 30 seconds into this video (Warning: You're liable to tear up a bit!) YouTube video Kiki is a very happy kid in the midst of all that has gone wrong.

I find it maddening that some countries around the world would critisize our relief efforts. The United States of America, as a country and as a group of individuals, will do more for these desperate Hatians than any other country on earth. Yet, some countries and individuals are taking this as an opportunity to bash the US.

I believe Americans have lost some of our interest in the goings on in Haiti. The relief efforts in Haiti will continue for a long time to come. America will be there to help in rebuilding, as a nation, and as individuals.

I had a friend in the Marine Corps, who, when nearing his enlistment in 1994, opined that he would like to get out of the Corps and get into "the news". When I asked him why his response was telling. "I want to make news," he replied. I remember being appalled at the time. Those that worked in media were supposed to be unbiased and objective. They were not supposed to make news!

Professor Williams, you propose an interesting question: "Are journalists becoming too active in their stories?" I would suggest these stories are not their own. The stories belong to Kiki. That journalists are inserting their selves into the stories may be a story unto itself.

At the end of it all, I think the thing that I will take away from this story will be that America has, yet again, responded quickly and without reservation to the plight of a nation and people in need.

Sandra Perkins said...

This story has had me glued to my television set. In my opinion, if there is any ounce of morality in the human body, we should feel compassion for these people. It’s Haiti today – it could very well be us tomorrow. We see the news coverage of such disasters, but journalists are on the scene seeing this devastation first hand. I’m sure they are probably taught to distance themselves from the story, but when it’s a human life – that’s another story. My most memorable moment was when this little body had been rescued after being under rubble for about 8 days. When they rescued him, he stretched out both of his arms as if to say – Hallelujah! To be honest, I expected to hear negativity when the subject of helping the Haitians came about. Let me tell you why I say that. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and everyone was fleeing from New Orleans, a white gentleman said to me – “Hurricane Katrina should have just wiped out the 9th Ward and we would be rid of them.” I asked him who was he talking about, and he said the bad crew from New Orleans. I politely told him – “I’m so glad that my life is not in your hands!” Now, he was bold enough to say what he was thinking. What about the ones who were thinking the exact same thing and didn’t say it. True – Haiti is a poverty stricken country and they have absolutely nothing to offer their neighboring countries, but when people are in dire straight – it should not matter what color, nationality or status. The natural thing to do is to help one another. I was really upset that they kept saying the Haitians were looting. Let me ask a hypothetical question – If a baby needed formula or food to survive and there was devastation everywhere and you’ve walked blocks and blocks to find the formula or food and you come across a place that has what your baby needs – would you walk pass the place or would you get what’s needed for your baby. It’s not looting when all Hell Has Broken Loose and you are trying to survive. It’s a fine line between looting and surviving!

Angela Doles said...

The story of Haiti has touched everyone with a heart. When I watch the news I cannot believe such devastation even exists. A businessman from our church was in Haiti at the time of the earthquake and he was very fortunate that he escaped unharmed. He has told some of the horrible scenes that he saw. I think the media has covered the earthquake very well, but I believe that the new is being to wear off and more people are concentrating on who will get the orphans of Haiti. I can’t help but wonder what is going to happen to all the people of Haiti. This country will be forever affected by this quake and may not ever recover fully from the devastation. The businessman I spoke of stated his factory only suffered minor damage and should be up and running again soon, but how are the people going to work if they have no houses to live in, no food to eat, or clothes to wear? I do think the media could do more as far as reaching out to others and helping to provide clothing and food for the people. The media could help make sure that people are well informed of good legitimate organizations that are helping Haiti.

Judy Roberson said...

I have watched some of the coverage of Haiti. It is a very devastating natural disaster and has caused much sorrow for the people of not only Haiti but the world as a whole.

Most humans are sympathetic and want to help. As usual, the United States was first to respond.

News coverage has been quite adequate. It's a story that will be around for some time but like every other news story, it will eventually be beat out by some other event.

Overall I feel newscasters are in this for the money - of course they want to report the news but some get too involved. I don't know any of these broadcasters personally but not all of them seem sincere when "helping" and becoming part of the story. They are there to report and that's what they should do. If they can call someone or help off camera then by all means do it. But, like someone posted about Katie Couric holding a child while his leg was being set, that's just getting her some extra hype.