Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Katrina’s Anniversary Coverage Aggravates New Orleanians

Happy and tearful reunions, a city on the rebound and an unofficial report card that measured everything that defines New Orleans hit millions of homes on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. From television and radio to print and online media outlets, everyone had a compelling story to share with viewers or listeners. Where are some of the people left in deplorable conditions outside the New Orleans Convention Center? What happened when evacuees given a fresh start declined to embrace their new homes in different cities? Did New Orleans police officers really kill innocent men, in the hours shortly after Hurricane Katrina? Are the levees strong enough to protect the city?

As much as people across the globe may have wanted to see just how much better or worse New Orleans looks, since being nearly drowned in 2005, some New Orleanians who have since returned and those who’ve relocated were aggravated by the coverage of Katrina’s painful anniversary. “I already know what I lost five years ago,” says Richard Baptiste.

Baptiste and his family returned to New Orleans shortly after living in neighboring Houston, TX for several months. “Life for me now is about making things better for myself and my family. We don’t sit around thinking about what happened when Katrina hit.”

On Facebook, Misty Barthelemy-Antoine who’s since relocated to the Midwest, posted her aggravation with the blanket coverage of what happened to her hometown. “If I see one more story on TV about Hurricane Katrina, I’m going to scream,” she wrote.

What are your thoughts about stories like the Hurricane Katrina follow-up stories? Please e-mail your comments to newsheels@gmail.com.