Monday, September 05, 2005

24 hour hurricane coverage... Is it really helping?

I'll be the first to admit that after Hurricane Katrina hit, I was all over the TV looking for coverage. Of course, I didn't have to look very far. The Weather Channel, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC are all situated together on our little satellite system. It's been a week since the storm itself hit the gulf coast, but is all of this continuous coverage still a good thing?

Being Labor Day, I slept in a little bit today, but was up around 9 a.m. and started surfing for something to watch. I looked around for something to watch and ended up on Sportscenter. They went into a story about New Orleans and the Saints and all of that and I couldn't take it. I turned the channel. I'm officially tired of it. There is nothing else that they can say that is going to surprise me or tell me something I didn't already know.

I think it's MSNBC that has a clock on screen that said "6 days 4 hours" the last time I saw it and I can honestly say that I'm over it. Don't get me wrong though, I understand the situation and it is horrible, but when 4 stations are covering it 24 hours a day, sooner or later people are going to get over it because it also fills the internet, newspapers and radio as well.

We all get our news from somewhere. I get mine on the internet and newspapers on the internet. I listen to talk radio just about all day if I get the chance. And while they are all comedic for the most part, they'll still talk about the big news stories of the day. You can't ignore it, but everyone gets their news from somewhere.

Those of us who have a routine get our news and we get all the information we want. But when we get a normal amount of news, then hear it on the radio, then see it on TV and on the net and everywhere else...

Eventually the public will shy away from it. They have the same footage looping over and over again and we know it like the back of our hands. The only things that change now are the body counts and Geraldo gets a little grungier every time you see him, but I don't understand what they are trying to achieve now at this point.

Rehnquist's death wasn't even a speed bump for this coverage. No one knows who's going to pull off of the gulf coast yet. They say that New Orleans could be in a shambles for months and I have to wonder if the news channels will be there for every building that is bulldozed and every new brick that is laid.

At this point, I understand the gravity of the situation, but the shock is wearing off and once the shock is gone these 24 hour news stations are going to hurt more than help.

Pretty soon people will be watching the coverage like a ball game. They'll get the score, or body count in this case, and move on.


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