Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Katrina Coverage: A Major MSM Organ Concedes Accuracy Problems - And Blames The Situation, Not The New Media

I don't know what's more noteworthy about this story in the L.A. Times-- that it appeared at all, or that it is buried on page A16 of the print edition. There is general criticism of the MSM here, and even a passing criticism of the Times itself. Entitled "Katrina Takes a Toll on Truth, News Accuracy," the story tells how "rumors supplanted accurate information and media magnified the problem. Rapes, violence and estimates of the dead were wrong."

Surprised at this seeming burst of self-critical analysis? Don't be. Here's how the problem is explained away:

Journalists and officials who have reviewed the Katrina disaster blamed the inaccurate reporting in large measure on the breakdown of telephone service, which prevented dissemination of accurate reports to those most in need of the information. Race may have also played a factor.
Well, I'm glad to know where unnamed "journalists" place the blame. Certainly not on themselves. And the issue of race creeps in once again. Read the whole thing. It'll remind you of the squishy thinking that takes place among Times writers.

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