Friday, September 16, 2005

Finding fault

Everyone has a theory on who is to blame for the problems associated with Hurricane Katrina- from an evacuation that didn't come in time, the looting, to relief agencies (federal and non-profit) not getting to the battered Gulf Coast fast enough, and so on.... The Boston Globe's version of the timeline of the disaster was endorsed by none other than NBC's Brian Williams, blogging on The Daily Nightly today:

So far the best work I've read on the anatomy of this disaster was published by the Boston Globe. It is called CHRONOLOGY OF ERRORS: HOW A DISASTER SPREAD. While there will be many others, for a snapshot of a crisis that is still unfolding, it's an impressive piece of journalism.

I find it fascinating that by blogging, Williams can essentially give his seal or approval to particular newspaper (or any other form of media), which he cannot do on The Nightly News program itself. One of the things that I like about The Daily Nightly is that it is written by the actual people who bring you the news. Public Eye, the blog of CBS News, seems to be written by people who were hired for the particular purpose of blogging:

New budgets were approved by the uber-bosses to staff Public Eye. The Public Eye team is officially employed by CBS Digital Media, not CBS News, giving them independence that is unprecedented for journalism's watchdogs.

Update (after receiving coment on post from Dick Meyer at CBS): I don't have a problem with the path that CBS has chosen to pursue (not like they'd really care if I did) in terms of hiring newsroom 'outsiders' to blog about CBS News. It is a fascinating contrast to the concept of the people who deliver the news posting their own personal opinions and recommendations. In a way it gives the talent and the producers a chance to editorialize that they would normally not get to do. Or at least that's how it appears.

{After reading the piece in The Boston Globe it is my opinion that the fault rests not with any particular (federal, state, or local) government agency, but with the red tape that was required of them.

1 comment:

Dick Meyer said...

As the guy who wrote the passage you quoted, I can clear up what sounds like a question: yes, CBS did hire people just to blog. The blog is called Public Eye and it's a combination ombudsman/community/conversation.