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Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
HR Apprentice. Ex Media Studies student at Swansea University. This blog is a collection of links, articles, academic reference and random thoughts.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Unprecedented Media Spin - Who sets the agenda for the mainstream news?

September 11, 2001- The Day the World Changed?

An eitorial review for the book September 11th, 2001 by Max Frankel:

On Tuesday September 11, our world changed forever. The United States
was attacked by an unknown terrorist organization. Word of this attack spread
instantaneously around the world. Billions of people woke up on September 12 to find
that the front page of their local newspaper was devoted to the tragedy of the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon.

People across the world watched the footage "live from the scene" Most will remember the pictures of the planes hitting the building or the Twin Towers falling to the ground. Less people will remember that 2974 people tragically lost their lives. The headlines dominated the front pages of the newspapers for weeks

Boxing Day Tsunami - 2004

Again, pictures were flashed around the world of an "unprecedented" disaster in South east Asia. The Indian Ocean tsunami, the deadliest on record, smashed into a dozen Asian and African countries on Dec. 26, 2004, swallowing up lives and homes and changing the coastline for ever.

230,000 dead or missing
2.1 million people displaced

Headlines dominated by destruction that the wave caused and the amount of foreigners that were presumed missing or dead.

Hurricane Katrina - 29th august 2005

"Reports of murder, rape and violence among the thousands trapped in New Orleans' shelters in the wake of Hurricane Katrina shocked the world." - BBC News

Hurricane Katrina strikes New Orleans at 8:00 AM with winds at 120 MPH and a storm surge of 18 feet.In the days immediately after Hurricane Katrina, most of us, most likely saw the same footage. Images of hurricane victims breaking into closed stores, taking food and other items, and escaping through chest-high waters with their loot.

Police chief Eddie Compass, spoke on the Oprah Winfrey show of babies being raped he also claimed tourists were being raped and beaten in the street. He later admitted that his statements were based on second-hand reports - and had turned out to be untrue.

An sightful report on the BBC News Website tells a shocking tale

New Orleans police confirm they have had no official reports of rapes or murders in the days after the city was catastrophically flooded.

Death toll - 1,836,

The media coverage on these three disasters varies greatly. From a global sympathy to victims of the New York attacks, a mass grieving for the foreign tourists of the Tsunami to a gross misjustice to the mainly black victims of Hurricane Katrina. It surely begs the question -

Who sets the agenda for the mainstream news?


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