The Impact of Media on Hurricane Katrina

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Natasha Schettini
April 19, 2013
ENG 110: Hlavaty
Argumentative Essay
Media’s Negative Impact on Hurricane Katrina
As technology advances we increasingly use news media as a means of communication, when all else fails. Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, the news and internet media took on the responsibility as a main source of information. This essentially made them responsible for unfolding many unnecessary events. Many news reporters and journalist contributed to the spread of false rumors and overstatements that have been proven to have negative impacts on relief efforts. Since the 21st century the term “media” has expanded and altered the public’s opinion tremendously. As proven by the inaccurate portrayal through skewed communication during Hurricane Katrina, the American media has begun to have negative effects on the consequences of natural disasters.

Reliable sources prove that there is a direct correlation between the lack of effective communication and deaths during Hurricane Katrina. Author Christopher Curtis supports this when stating, “There appeared to be a breakdown in communication within and between responding organizations during the aftermath of the storm that resulted in loss of lives” (10). Due to miscommunication many people and organizations were not prepared for the extent of damage Katrina would cause. The lack of communication and response, especially between the federal, regional, state, and local relief agencies, was a catastrophe in itself. Specifically, the media’s role in communication hindered chances of recovery. During Hurricane Katrina their quick politicization directly led to negative consequences as organizations failed to take responsibility, while instead blaming others, and continued to make poor decisions (Curtis 12). Accurate media and communication is crucial in order to minimize the aftermath of natural disasters.

In recent years, media has shown to hold the power and responsibility of strongly...
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