Monday, June 7, 2010

Welcome to the Semester

Hello and welcome to summer semester. Every monday (sometimes tuesday when i'm busy) i'll post a new topic for you to respond to. Your job is to respond to my questions with at least a 2 paragraph contribution. You will have roughly a week to do so. You have to respond before i post the next week's blog or you don't get any points. This website tracks the day and time you respond so there is no going back and posting late. Every blog that you respond to will earn you points and those points will build up over the course of the semester.

You'll have to register with the site in order to post. When creating a username please choose something that i can easily associate with your name. That helps me in awarding points. For example, if you choose "soldier3" then i have no idea who to give your points to. So let's begin with the first topic.

Everyone's concerned about the oil spill in the Gulf. But our own governor has been criticized by some as being too "unconcerned" with it. Gov. Barbour claims that the media has made too much about the situation. View his latest appearance on TV by clicking here. Here are my questions.

1. Do you believe the media is over-reporting on the issue.
2. Do you believe the media's coverage is harmful and irresponsible to our state's tourism industry?
3. Do you believe Gov. Barbour is presenting himself in the best interest of our state? If not, what should he be saying to the media?
4. How would you characterize BP's use of the media during the recent spill?


Tina Perryman said...

I beleive that the media is over exposing the situation. Like with a lot of things, ten years ago there was not as much media coverage as it is now and the public was essentially unaware of how dangerous a problem was, however, we did know. In my opinion too much media can cause a problem. It disable people from living a normal life because they are caught up in the "real life" drama of the news.
I definetly believe that the media coverage has a huge impact on the states's tourism industry. I know my family had planned to go to orange beach in July and now due to the actual news that oil is in the area we have had to change our plans. I do not believe it is harmful because we should be aware before we book trips and spend money on something that we can not do. I think it is very important to know.
The Gov. has his own agenda in my opinion. There are a lot of things that he could be concerned with, however, he do not he puts himself out there as he has and does not look like he has Mississippians in mind. His non "concern" it will show it self late at the polls. The fact that the media is putting this information out there and saying "look this is the worst spill in our history" and our Gov. is showing no concern to the people who actually live near or on the coast is so wrong on so many levels. He is our representation and should fight for us with all he has but that is not what is being shown.
Concerning BP in the media. I totally agree with the way that they are doing it. They come on at least once a day to allow us to see what is really going on. I think we need to know what is going on. I know there is still a lot of information that they are not giving us or showing us but what they are showing I'm grateful. They are making every effort to appoligize and get this cleaned up. A lot of the executitves live in the United States and I'm sure they would not like their water and fresh seafood covered with oil. I think they are doing the best they can. They are getting all of the negative coverage and they seem to be the ones doing the most work.

pmm46 McDaniel said...

Until something bigger comes along, or the problem gets fixed the media is going to talk about this issue every day. Not to mention, people are still interested to see what happens. In my opinion, most issuse are over exposed, so the extent of the coverage on this one is no surprise to me - and yes, I think it is over exposed.
This could definately take a toll on the tourism of the state, especially on those who don't live in Mississippi.
I haven't gotten the chance to hear Governor Barber speak very much, but I thought he had excellent points about the spill, especially the segment about the tar balls occuring naturally every year and how the media has been stretching the truth. I did, however, disagree with him on the efforts to keep drilling. I understand the problem with our dependency on oil, but if a deep spill has caused this much of a problem, why continue the risk ?

Dixonville said...

It is hard for me to say if I think the media is "over reporting" this issue. It is definitely something that needs to be made known to the public in an appropriate manner, however, as Gov. Barber said the media makes it sound like the coastline from Texas to Florida is "ankle deep" in oil. I think the reporting on this issue needs to continue, but maybe the media needs to make sure and not "Hollywood" it up for ratings. I've had friends who have been to the Mississippi Coast and Orange Beach and they said it is clear, with the exception of the occasional "tar ball" which are not uncommon occurances without a disaster such as this. I don't mean to sound like I have my head in the clouds, and I am fully aware of the negative impacts that this will have on the coastline from Texas to Floria for MANY years to come, but I believe that the media is over "sensationalizing" it to bump their own ratings. I do beleive, because of this, tourism has been damaged. Reports of tourism being down has been reported for the whole Gulf Coastline. I have not seen Gov. Barber speak on this matter much, but in this interview with Chris Wallace, I do believe he said what he could in the amount of time he was allotted to try to counteract the negative impact the media has had on tourism. Is he minimizing the impact to line his own pocket? Is he getting some of the money as a kickback that BP has allotted Mississippi to bolster our tourism? I can't answer that. Given what I saw in the interview with Chris Wallace, I would have to say that he did do what he could in the time he had to try to give our state a positive "plug".

On the other hand, BP, in my opinion, has not handled this well in the least bit. They think that giving states money to bolster their tourism will help to "patch up" things. Their irresponsibility is the cause of this! They seem to be more concerned with trying to "save face" than trying to fix the problem. They are spending money on positive PR advertising, and I understand that, but right now, the "positive PR" they need is to fix their goof up!! Nothing they can say or do really isn't going to matter more than a hill of frostbitten beans to me! Amidst rumors that the accident is the result of a pipe that was of inadequate size/structure to handle the amount of oil it was, their focus needs to be on fixing the problem, not fixing their image.

trinam24 said...

I think the media over reports on most issues, including the recent oil spill in the Gulf. However, considering that BP has just begun to convey important infortmation to the public, if it wasn't for the media's massive coverage of the spill, we would have been kept in the dark about much of the issues surrounding the spill.

I do think the media's coverage is harmful to our state's tourism. Some reports are asking people to stay out of the water in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida while some media soures say differently. Because of conflicting media reports and just the attention that the spill is getting alone, is causing some tourists to play it safe and just stay away altogether.

I do think that the spill is a serious issue and it does seem that Gov. Barbour isn't too concerned about the impact that the spill is having and going to have on our state. I am not sure what he needs to do to advocate for the people and the sea life that is being affected by the spill, but I think that he has not shown a great concern publicly about the issue.

BP has seemed to take full responsibilty for the spill and damages to the regions. However, I think they could have done a much better job in communicating the facts about the spill earlier than they did. I have now began too see television commericals where BP officials seem to show great concern for getting control of the disaster.

Scott Stewart said...

1. I don't think that the media is over-reporting the story. It is a major disaster and one that will affect the gulf area for years to come. I'm sure the local media coverage here in Las Vegas is different than what it is in the south, but it is a story that the whole country should care about.

2. This is an interesting question as I get most of my updates regarding the oil spill from internet sites. From what I remember reading, I haven't heard much mentioned about oil on the Mississippi coastline. The articles tend to stick to Florida and Louisiana. Also, this may be a naive question, but does the Mississippi coast draw a lot of tourism? If it does, I think the industry will suffer, but I'm not convinced it is the media's fault.

3. Gov. Barbour seemed like a no nonsense type of person, and if he is being truthful, I think that is the best thing he could do for his state. I'm sure he could be complaining about the lack of aid and timlieness of the government response, but he isn't. I've never heard him speak before, but I respect that he isn't playing the blame game and complaining if something isn't a big issue for the state (yet).

4. I'm not sure how they could have used the media better. Sometimes it seems it would have been better if they didn't say anything at all because if they put a timeline on an action or result, it would undoubtebly be late. I guess I'm just not sure how they could have used the media to put them in a better light since the whole country will be mad at them no matter what.

Cornela357 said...

I personally to not believe that the media is not over exposing this crisis. The attention is not to take away from tourism, but to spotlight an environmental disaster that has affected lives and our coastline, with future issues to be unknown. Even, though this unfortunate event has ended four precious lives, businesses, wildlife, and land has also ceased to exist. So to believe that the media is playing a part the overplaying this event is an insane statement. For years, it has been a known fact that oil prices have risen and yet we use foreign oil for fuel our lives. It is also known that the rigs were marked for reconstruction, but was delayed. BP should do its part to rebuild the lives they are now taking away and correct all errors in the major neglect so that eleven lives would not have ended in vain. It is so unfortunate that our governor is looking at the tourism is the major victim of this event.
I really do not feel that our governor is acting on our state's best interest after viewing the news clip. As I listened to his remarks, I almost thought I was listening to a used car or white sale for mattresses ad. Even the look on his face reminded me of the old school Crazy Eddie commercials (some people may not have seen these ad, they're...insane). I would prefer to see our governor put is body where is mouth is (so to speak) by allowing to be interviewed walking barefoot on our beaches or waist-deep in the Gulf of Mexico and say "Come on in, the water's fine". I heard in the interview that we are now closing fisheries and globs are now starting to appear. Those statements alone proves that the issue is now a concern of lives not just tourism.
As for BP's reaction, I dare not hold back on comments. This business has proved their bank accounts and profits are the main victims of this event. The officials of BP, has even stated that they want their lives back! As for the hush money fueled by gag orders issued, BP's feels that the lives murdered and families destroyed are worth a few million. BP has even downplayed this oil spill by saying not that much oil has been lost over the past 50-plus days. I hope BP plans to invest in this country's future by creating more jobs, creation of more hybrid vehicles, and of course, Gov. Barbour's loss in tourism.

Gabe Browning said...

1. Do you believe the media is over-reporting on the issue.

Here's a bit of a different view, I'm living in England right now, and everything is about the World Cup. If you go to BBC News homepage, there is not a single thing on it about the oil spill. Now go to CNN, and you get all the info you need. Funny how the Brits news (I found this by doing a google search) revolves around how mad Obama is with BP, not what's being done with the clean up. But go to BP's home page, and they've put a link there to let us all know what they see as happening. From a business standpoint, that's smart.. although I think we all can agree their reaction was a bit slow overall (Not sure when the tab on the homepage was brought up.)

2. Do you believe the media's coverage is harmful and irresponsible to our state's tourism industry?

From the perspective of Gov Barbour, I'd say yes. I've also heard from other reports the same thing. "Please come visit. Please eat our seafood". As for the eating side, I understand the apprehension regardless of the media. But certainly the tourism industry has been negatively affected by the media's portrayal. I'd say I understand their portrayal though. And through the concerns of parties on both side (tourism and news) the people will return. It's jsut hurting right now.

3. Do you believe Gov. Barbour is presenting himself in the best interest of our state? If not, what should he be saying to the media?

I'd say he's acting in the best interest of the state. Tourism is absolutely a part of the coasts industry, but lets be real. People don't come to the coast for the beaches. I'd ventrue to say fishing is a bigger draw to the coast than the beaches. And I'd speculate that fishing is being greatly affected. But making references to tar balls and oil slicks directly on the coast plays to the mental image the rest of America has. And for that reason, I believe him to be doing the right thing, even if it isn't the whole truth. Haley better pray that they don't get an oil leak in thier Casinos. That'll really hurt the tourism industry. (I don't mean to make light of the greater issue, just trying to prove a point.)

4. How would you characterize BP's use of the media during the recent spill?

As stated above, through the web they are doing a good job. But in the American media, (radio/television) they don't have a friend in sight. I say that's primarily due to their original response, and justified because of that. They absolutely blew it during the initial crisis response.

ChandraWalker said...

I don't necessarily feel like the media is over-reporting the issue on the oil spill. The issue is serious and needs a great deal of attention and care to detail. However, I do feel that some of the media are focusing on the wrong aspects of the issues. They tend to pay more attention to different peoples'opinion on who caused it, what isn't being done and the should've, could've, wouldv've. They should be more focused on the facts of the matter and how to move foward to solve the problem and prevent the issue from occuring again.
I don't think media coverage is harmful to our state's tourism industry,however, it hasn't been helpful either.The purpose of the news medium is to give unbiased information to provoke the viewer to create their own opinions. So in order to do that successfully for Mississippi, they should vocer the positive side of the issue as much as the negative.
As far as Haley Barbour is concerned,the way he comes off is if the only thing he cares about is letting it be known that HE,the governor,is taking action to solve the problem. HE,the governor,doesn't play the blame game but simultaneously references the White House as an example. He did give a squick 2 second insert to show his acksnowledgement of the disaster affecting the other states.But HE the governor is letting it be known that Mississippi is just fine. His view in this lparticular interview just seemed quite,..dare i say...Selfish.
BP's use of the media hasn't always been beneficial to their image control but as long as everything is out in the open whether it be good or's best for the public.

Joy said...

I do not believe that the media is over reporting the oil spill in the Gulf. This oil spill is the largest man made environmental catastrophe in my lifetime. I want to know what is going on in regards to corrective actions and magnitude of the problem. I want to know what is being done to contain the oil and what the actions and plans are to preserve the wildlife,plant life and overall economy of those areas. I am from Mississippi and it saddens me that a catastrophe of this size doesn't get more attention from the federal, state and local governments. I do not believe that the media coverage is harmful to tourism; it's the oil spill that will be harmful to tourism this year and for many years to come along the Gulf Coast long after the media has left the coastline.
I am not familiar enough with all of the dialogue that the Mississippi Governor has had regarding the oil spill, but he certainly should not down play it. There will be many jobs lost in the coastal lines of Mississippi that will not return and in a state that touches dead last in most areas, this is just another negative blow to the state. He should not downplay that fact and should be exhausting every resource to find ways to help those coastal communities.
BP's media blitz only frustrates me. Instead of dumping millions of dollars on ad campaigns additional monies should have been thrust at the communities along the coast line to help with clean up efforts. If you think about it, our unemployment rates are at record highs as a nation. It might have been a better spend of BP money to hire unemployed US workers to help out with the clean up efforts along the coastline. Set these workers up with room and board and pay them a competitive wage while reducing the unemployment rates.
I understand the thought and intent behind BP's ad campaign and I have nothing against BP as a company as I think they are a strong company and treat their employees very well. What I do believe about BP is that they have to take responsibility and hold themselves accountable for one of the largest environmental catastrophes of our time.

Devonte Gardner said...

I don't believe the media is over-reporting the issue. Oil has shown up on coast lines, washing up on beaches, disrupting the ecosystem and crippling the tourism industry. The media is calling it the worst environmental disaster in history and, judging by the videos, it just might be. My biggest concern is that they still haven't plugged the leak and if it's not a catastrophic disaster yet, it's bound to be in time when enough oil spills into the ocean.

The tourism industry in Mississippi has taken a big blow not because of media coverage, but because of BP's failure to drill safely in the gulf. They did not have a viable technique available to handle an oil spill of this magnitude. No company should have the right to drill anywhere without developing a fail-safe plan on how to fix any potential leaks. BP could have tested the Top Kill method before hand or had relief wells ready.

Barbour is looking out for the economy of Mississippi, but if it's not safe to visit the coast, then we need to stay at home or vacation somewhere else. Although the media should give a better description of which areas of the gulf are dangerous to swim in and which are not. Barbour claims that Mississippi's gulf has no oil and is safe, so if that's the case, the media needs to report it. At this time of crisis, Barbour needs to be an advocate for the state he represents. He needs to be telling the media what the gulf still has to offer, which he seems to be doing.

BP has been kicked around in the media for months now. I don't think they've been able to use the media to help improve its image. The damage has already been done.

Laura Collins said...

I don't think they are over-reporting. In some cases they could be under-reporting. Do Americans even realize that 11 people were killed on that rig when it happened? I know we all know about the pelicans covered in oil and that everyone hates BP right now, but you don't even hear about those who lost their lives trying to just do their jobs. This is a major catastrophe, not only for the coastal states, but for the United States entirely. For those Americans who aren't able to see it for themselves and aren't down on the coast, they want to know whats happening. They may not be primarily effected by the oil spill, but we are all secondarily effected.

As a non-Mississippi resident, I'm sure my response to this won't have as much meaning to it than those who do reside in-state. I do think the media coverage is harmful to Mississippi's tourism. My brother-in-law just moved a trip he had planned this summer from Gulf Shores AL over to Daytona Beach because he's afraid of oil ruining their trip. I'm sure many people have moved or even cancelled their summer trips to the Mississippi coast. And all the media is doing is showing pictures of the oil spill where it's the worst and making Americans believe that it's everywhere along the coast. Don't get me wrong, this is a terrible thing, but the media is making it worse. They need to be more responsible with their reporting and show some of the positives, like where the oil hasn't hit.

I don't have a strong opinion about Gov. Barbour and his presentation... I'm from Missouri, not Mississippi. However, from the interview he did on Fox News Sunday, he seemed to present himself and the state well. He was aware and empathetic for the areas mainly effected, but as the governor of Mississippi he was primarily concerned with his states tourism and how to let people know that it's ok to come down.

I personally haven't noticed much from BP in the media. All I ever see is Anderson Cooper and birds covered in gloop. But how much can BP say right now? They really can't sit down and assess what really happened until the get the rig capped off. Once they fix the problem, that's when they can firther investigate and found out what exactly happened. But for now, their main goal is to cut off the spill, and while they're doing that all they should be reporting to the media are updates on how the progress is coming.

glendak said...

Yes the media is over reporting on the oil spill. I know the public wants to know what is going on but, the media talks about it every day and all day. I can’t turn on the television without seeing or hearing something about the oil spill. The coverage is making it harder and harder for people to want to go to the coast. It is also harmful and to the tourism industry. People do not want to go to the beaches because of what they hear on the news, because they feel if it is on one beach it is on all of them. I won’t say irresponsible because the news can only report what they can get or what someone tells them. People can’t talk about anything unless you give them something to talk about.

Gov. Barbour is presenting himself, but he is making light of the oil spill as if it is not as big of a problem as it appears to be. He is trying to get tourist to come to the state of Mississippi. He thinks the oil spill will hurt the economy of Mississippi and it probably will but the truth needs to be told. I think he has a point on that, so he is trying to calm people down. Because people are already saying they will not go to the coast for the summer. Gov. Barbour said in the TV appearance that the enemy will destroy themselves.Things would be better if they would work together instead of of criticizing each other.
BP’s use of the media has been, that every opportunity they get; they give some kind of media coverage. They don’t know what to do to stop the oil spill, so when the media ask they just say we are working on it. But they always say something to try and make the people feel better. I don’t think what they are doing is work though. At first they didn’t want to take the blame for the oil spill and that wasted some time.

JoycieW. said...

1. Do you believe the media is over-reporting on the issue? Yes, the media over reports everything. Crisis in the Gulf - Oil Spews into the Gulf – Oil Soaked Birds – Dead Turtle Line the Beaches – Oil Spillage Causes Seafood Prices to Rise. Every moment, there’s a different headline. I’m not claiming to be an “expert” on the gulf, but each news outlet claims a different amount of oil is spilling each day. One news outlet says gallons are spilling. While others claim barrels are spilling, but no one can be sure just how much oil has spilled. Shouldn’t the gulf be full of oil by now? If you look to the media, you would swear that the entire gulf beaches are covered in oil. I think the “stupidest” reporting can this morning, while I was flipping the channels; a reporter was in scuba gear going into the oil soaked water to show us just how much oil had spilled. Come on media, I guess that’s why I prefer to flip the channels instead of actually watching the news. The media is going to milk the oil spill for as long as they can.

2. Do you believe the media's coverage is harmful and irresponsible to our state's tourism industry? I do believe the media’s coverage is harming and irresponsible to our state’s tourism and also to Louisiana, Florida, and Alabama. I’ve heard people say, you can smell oil all over Biloxi. My family and I usually vacation in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Panama City each year, this year won’t be any different. I’m constantly getting email updates from different rental agencies assuring us that the beaches are oil free, but if you listen to the media, you would think all the beaches are covered in oil. I urge anyone who has plans or where considering the gulf area this summer, go ahead and enjoy yourself.

3. Do you believe Gov. Barbour is presenting himself in the best interest of our state? If not, what should he be saying to the media? Personally, I’m not a fan of Barbour, because I have never thought he had the best interest of the state in mind, just his personal agenda to advance his political career, but this time and this time only, I would have to agree with him about the media and oil spillage.

4. How would you characterize BP's use of the media during the recent spill? I think BP should have stepped up from the beginning and told the truth. They should be honest with us and tell us they don’t really know what to do to control this oil spillage and they are not sure what the long term damage is.

Angela Williams said...

Although the media can over-report on some issues, I don't feel that the Gulf spill is an issue that can be over-reported about. People need to be aware of what is going on in their community. This oil spill could and will certainly impact many people. It is a very hazardous situation, and people need to be aware of what's going on so that they can make preparations. Noone wants to be in the dark about an issue such as this.

I think the issue, in some instances, may be harmful to our state's tourism industry. The bottom line is that if people want to tour a place, they are going to do it. If they don't want to tour a place, they won't. I don't think the situation with the oill spill will deter all tourists from visiting. In fact, it may be interesting to some tourists and may attract more. Who knows?

No, I don't think that the Governor is presenting himself in the best interest of our state. As Governor, you should have concern for your people and your community. He shouldn't make light of the situation. In fact, he should want to keep the people aware of what is going on. I think he should tell the media that we are not going to make light of the situation, but that he doesn't want people to panic. He should inform the media that every effort will be made to get this problem under control and resolved. He should be reassuring the public. In my opinion, his perception of the oil spill reflects negatively on him as Mayor.

I would characterize BP's use of the media as positive. They have very willingly agreed to pay all oil spill claims. They have been willing to speed up the claims process. They have been responding to the public concerns. I think they have handled the media to the best of their ability. I think they have been as open and honest as they can be. BP's Chief Executive made the statement, “I’m as devastated as you are by what I’ve seen here today,” he told reporters. “We are going to do everything in our power to prevent any more oil from coming ashore and we will clean every last drop up and we will remediate all of the environmental damage.” I do believe BP will do this.

Andrew said...

While it is important to portray or spin disasters in the most positive way possible, Mississippi governor Barbour definitely needs to take a more realistic approach in regards to the oil spill's impact on the Gulf states, and specifically Mississippi.

By no means is the media "over-reporting" the issue. The media didn't cause any of the spill to happen. BP is responsible. Lax regualtions are responsible. Oil industry insiders, lobbyists and politicians are responsible. There is no amount of "over-reporting" any media can do by taking all these people to task and holding them responsible. It is not any media outlet's fault if tourism to Mississippi is affected; again, BP, Big Oil, Politicians... they are the ones to blame.

Again, if tourism, and thus the gulf economy is affected, it is in no way anyone in the media's fault for reporting it. That's like saying I am complicit in a murder someone else committed because I told my friend about it. The entire point of reporting on the spill is to hold those responsible for it accountable.

Gov. Barbour is going to do what he needs to do. As governor, it's his job to spin spin spin on issues like this, so I suppose one really cannot blame him. But when it gets this blatant that what he's throwing is a snow job, it clearly comes across as rehearsed, pretentious, and unrealistic. I believe a more appropriate approach is to talk about the impact of the issue, and lay a plan for how to clean up and adjust from the oil spill. Set up a system to get "volunteer tourists" down to the gulf to help the clean up efforts. Really play things up to the environmentalists, church service groups, and other people from both sides of the political spectrum. Hey look, we just had a coming together from across the aisle! It only took a major ecological disaster to do it!

Clearly BP is familiar with how to use media to its advantage, and clearly it thinks it can play mop-up publically (pun intended). Through commericals and interviews on TV, radio and print, BP thinks it can fool us all with a slick PR campaign to show how sorry it is. I think Aziz Ansari put it best mid-song last week: "Fuck BP! Fuck BP! Fuck BP!"

Neal Squires (nds79) said...

1. Do you believe the media is over-reporting on the issue.
The media’s main concern is to make money. They are not in the business of public service; it is a private endeavor seeking larger audiences and increased market share. With greater market share comes higher profits, etc. In any “hot button” issue (i.e. politics, environmental disasters, scandals) the more they embellish the topic the more people will watch. While the issue certainly is serious, it is something that is fixable. The beaches can be cleaned and normal life will return. The “doom and gloom” that the media portrays only creates public pessimism and animosity. By putting too much focus on the problem, people’s energy is used to fixate on it while the solutions go largely unattended.

2. Do you believe the media's coverage is harmful and irresponsible to our state's tourism industry?
Absolutely! The media is certainly portraying the beaches and shorelines as polluted and intolerable. Many people rely on news sources as the basis to form their opinions, and if the beaches are mostly in good shape then this should be covered. People don’t want good news though; they want to hear about something dramatic and eye-opening. Even when Gov. Barbour appeared on Fox News last Sunday to tell the nation that Mississippi beaches are largely undamaged and to come on down, the media was questioning this good news. One local media outlet called the disaster a “wait and see” scenario, while a media-made “economic disaster” has already taken place. (Emmerich, 2010)

3. Do you believe Gov. Barbour is presenting himself in the best interest of our state? If not, what should he be saying to the media?
It is amazing to see the media ostracize Gov. Barbour for downplaying the oil spill in his attempt to revive a sluggish tourism season. In contrast, Louisiana Governor Jindal is being praised for “hyping the oil spill.” (Emmerich, 2010) What Gov. Barbour is doing is commendable as he is trying to help his state recover from the economic impact of the media- whoops, I mean the oil disaster. Certainly, Gov. Barbour should continue to speak of the realities of the disaster, but his mindfulness of the true situation is needed despite what the media may say or show.

4. How would you characterize BP's use of the media during the recent spill?
BP has certainly been on damage control over the past few weeks. From social media outlets to television commercials, BP’s public relations department has been doing all it can to show that BP cares and is doing something about this disaster. An interesting sequence has unfolded within BP’s strategy to send CEO Tony Heyward out to talk with the American media during the past few months of the tragedy. The intended outcome of this use of the media was for the company to be perceived as transparent and willing to talk, even up to the CEO himself. Yet, American’s have not embraced Mr. Heyward’s stoic and impersonal style. And many more are frowning on the use of BP money to broadcast commercials versus spending the money on the people affected by the tragedy. People want to see them doing more, not spending more on PR efforts. I would consider the handling of the crisis by BP less than exemplary and perhaps they have worsened their image thru their various gaffes and missteps.

Emmerich, W. (2010, June 11). Big Media hypes severity of oil spill. Retrieved June 11, 2010, from The Greenwood Commonwealth:

Ageyer said...

I don’t believe the media is over-reporting on the oil spill. The BP oil spill is the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Until the broken pipe is successfully capped and the cleanup is complete, the oil spill will continue to be the biggest news story in America. The media coverage is not harmful or irresponsible to Mississippi’s tourism industry. The oil spill itself is what is causing the damage. The tourism and fishing industry have and will continue to be the hardest hit from the BP oil spill.

Governor Barbour is not presenting himself in the best interest of the state. He should communicate to the media that he demands that BP, and the federal government arm the citizens of Mississippi with the resources needed to mitigate and combat the damage the oil spill is creating. BP is spending a lot of money to win the public opinion war through mass media. When you google oil spill the top links are purchased by BP. When you click on these links it takes you to a BP website that has a prepared statement proclaiming that BP is doing everything in their power to stop and cleanup the oil spill. Also they have had all of their executives and spokespeople coordinate their statements to present a united front to combat against the bad press that is being levied against BP. Outside of a slip by BP’s CEO saying he cant wait until the spill his over so that he can get his life back, BP has done the best they can at protecting their name and reputation through all mass media channels available.

-Aaron Geyer

Kim Long said...

I believe that this issue is being over exposed currently. I do think that issue needs to be reported on to the fullest extent, but over half of it in my opinion is over dramatized. I just returned fro Destin, Florida for the past 8 days and when we left the local news said that where we were going was covered in oil and "tar balls" where washing up everywhere. When we arrived, the water was as clear as usual and not the first sight of oil. After watching the local news coverage in Destin, their coverage on the oil spill was more realistic and honest compared to MSNBC and CNN that I had previously been watching.

As for Governor Barbour, I think he is receiving a lot of pressure to respond and have a plan for MS, but he does not seem too concerned as to the impact this will have on the MS Gulf Coast. This is a very serious issue that needs to be dealt with now and action needs to be taken now instead of when the oil hits hard in the coming months. I think he is kind of brushing it off and needs to step up with a plan of action to help MS. I think BP is full of it and all they are trying to do is cover up and fix their mistake. Positive PR will not fix this. Just look at what the CEO of BP said "I just wish my life would go back to normal". What about all the people that lost their lives from this oil spill, people that are losing money because they cannot work and the tourism that is being affected. Both BP and Governor Barbour need to step up and get this oil spill taken care of.

TiffanyS said...

Personally, I don't think the media is over-reporting. It's a serious issue, and many people are effected by this. If there is a serious issue at hand, the media is going to report on it. The state has gotten a lot of attention lately, but not negative attention on our part. The only people getting negative attention is BP.
I really think at this point everyone is doing all they can, it't not an overnight fix, but they are sorting the situation out. If only the they could have prepared for a circumstance as this! But, they didnt and here we are, so there is nothing to do but sit back and watch the media keep reporting, and hope the ones who know what they are doing can fix it.
BP's has gotten a lot of negative attention through the situation and I'm curious to see how it plays into their upcoming future. They have a lot of making up to do, and defense of their business. I just hope they can fix it as soon as they can, and that the MS Gulf Coast can make up for their loss.

S.Webb said...

The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the damage that it is causing has unarguably been catastrophic; however, I personally believe that the media has over-reported on the issue, much the same way it over-reports on most major stories in today’s society. We are being bombarded with story after story about the oil spill – who really is to blame, BP’s latest attempts to stop the leak and win back public favor, environmental damage to aquatic plant and animal life, lost jobs in the fishing and tourism industries – you name it, it’s being covered in national, state, and local media constantly and repeatedly. It becomes tiresome to me to hear the same things over and over again. A few months ago, I said the same about Tiger Woods. I am interested in learning the basic facts of any newsworthy situation. So much of the coverage becomes destructive (i.e. “The Blame Game”) and distracts from what’s really going on in any given situation.

I feel that some of the media coverage of the oil spill has, in fact, been damaging to Mississippi’s tourism industry. Until the oil physically impacts our state’s shores, there is no reason for anyone to avoid visiting the coast. I believe the national media has over-generalized the current physical effects of the oil on our coastline. Even though oil may have reached the beaches of other Gulf States, Mississippi has been fortunate not to have suffered the same consequences as rapidly. The negative impact on the tourism industry will have resounding harmful effects not only on the economies of the coastal counties whose economic condition is so dependent upon tourism to keep it healthy, but to the entire state of Mississippi as well.

I believe Governor Barbour is doing an adequate job in practically representing our state’s current situation in the media. He is being realistic about the spill. While the oil will probably affect our beaches and our aquatic plant and animal life just as it has our neighboring states, at the time of Governor Barbour’s interview with Chris Wallace the oil had not yet reached Mississippi’s coast. Until we actually have negative impacts, it is acceptable for him to encourage people to come visit to help salvage as much of the coast’s economy as possible. Barbour is not ignoring the negative impacts; he is endeavoring to remain positive and fight for the coastal citizens whose livelihoods are so dependent upon the tourism industry while the opportunity still exists.

I feel that BP was far too slow in their initial media reactions to the oil spill. This has lead to the increased negative opinion that society has formed of the company. Instead of being proactive with their response, taking full responsibility right away, and allowing the public to see them working diligently toward a solution, they cowered in the background for too long, making themselves look like they had something to hide. Recently, they have been more responsive and forthcoming with information. Their major PR push through their advertising efforts is an attempt to assure the pubic that they truly are concerned and sympathetic toward the catastrophe. While these advertising efforts have been a frustration to some, I believe that the campaign is necessary to help BP regain favorability in the public, so long as the company puts the rest of its money where its mouth is and actively works to restore the communities that have been shattered as a result of this crisis.

Kate said...

This is probably one of the most, if not the most, severe man-made disaster the U.S. has seen. Add on to that the fact that the spill is devastating an area still recovering from one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. The media is going to follow it, and from the limited extent I've seen, it's been a fair amount of reporting. I have not been watching the different perspectives and coverage as much as I would have liked over the past few weeks, though. My bigger fear is as the oil keeps gushing, the media might move on to another subject, and BP will not be under the same urgency to get it fixed without the constant media coverage.

2. My experiences with the Mississippi Gulf Coast waters have truly been disgusting. Industries have been dumping pollutants into the waters for years. I know several people who never considered the Mississippi Coast as a beach destination, so to me, the media is just shedding light on issues that already existed. That being said, the charter boat industry is being severely hit due to the fishing waters closures, and that's not the media's fault.

3. This was actually a conversation at a conference I was at this weekend. Lots of people are upset about his reactions, including myself. Putting tourism aside, the environmental impact is and will continue to occur for decades to come, and I have not seen him show any concern about the environmental issues.

4. Once again, I have not watched as diligently as I wish I could have the past few weeks, but I have noticed that the British CEO has not been on as frequently lately and has been replaced by one of the head-honchos out of Texas, which might be in part due to the lack of American sympathy as Neal Squires mentioned. In all the interviews I have seen him give, he rarely answers the questions and sticks to his talking points in his southern drawl. If neither of those guys are "available," BP just won't give the interview. The cynical side of me has also noticed that BP has been buying lots of ads, which might be softening the blow from the media a little bit.

Chintan Desai said...

The gulf coast oil spill has been one of the most devastating disasters to occur in our nation’s history. Our country and the state of Mississippi will feel negative effects for years to come. The biggest issue with this disaster is that it was caused by a human error. Unlike natural disasters, the oil spill could have been prevented.
The media sees the oil spill as an opportunity. The media and our government hold a love-hate relationship. In the oil spill, the media has an opportunity to show the faults of our government’s policies. In the media, I have seen an effort to criminalize BP. But the media has also put pressure on the federal government to prioritize the oil spill on the agenda. With the media’s report on the oil spill, the state tourism’s industry has taken a financial hit, but the media spectrum will be the best opportunity for the state to improve the state’s tourism industry.
Gov. Barbour’s position on the oil spill is a political decision. The oil spill is devastating. Gov. Barbour cannot comment on the oil spill without being negative. If he speaks on the oil spill, it will be harmful to the state’s image. BP has used the media spectrum to improve its image, but BP’s recent comments about the availability of shrimp in other regions of the country have put them in a binding situation. Until BP cleans the oil spill, the media will report all aspects of the oil spill. Until improvements are seen on the oil spill cleanup, the media will prioritize the oil spill as their number one concern.