LATEST : we’ll be discussing this on today’s show. I watched one British network last night who had their two main reporters with the anchor at the end and were told “well done and thanks” for covering the story. Another had a strap line “fears of food riots growing” even though there hadn’t been any.
This blogger for example questions the need for spaces on UN flights to go to journalists and wonders if it’s right to have “play-by-play” type reporting when someone is being dug out from the rubble.
He also wonders if people from media crews should put down their cameras and …well, help.
It’s a difficult area on how much journalists should help and of course they can’t help but interact : i saw the BBC’s Matt Frei during one of his pieces having to explain to desperate people at the airport that he had no work for them.
I must admit i’ve been uncomfortable watching people being dug out of the rubble only to have a reporter crouching next to their stretcher delivering a “look-I’m-here-too” piece to camera.
And it’s hard to explain that aid isn’t getting through, while journalists clearly are.
And a blogger here is concerned about negative stereotyping of Haitians (“when will the looting start ?”) and compares coverage to the aftermath of Katrina where – she says – white people taking from stores were described as “survivors” and black people “looters”.
Some too are also concerned that the media isn’t giving enough context about Haiti’s background, and history.
And to be fair, as you’ve seen , WHYS has been criticised by you broadcasting the sound of people in distress and for ignoring other stories (the latter is a lot easier to defend than the former).
I’d be grateful if you’d share your thoughts on what you are watching – and reading and listening to as this dreadful story unfolds.