You are here

npr

NPR still covering New Orleans, just not well

Harry Shearer points to two recent NPR reports about New Orleans, both of which were "light" and neither of which mentioned the possibility of the Army Corps of Engineers' design flaws leading to the flooding:

...[the two shows were:] the debate on whether to hold Mardi Gras, and the recording of Elvis Costellos' collaboration with Allen Toussaint at Piety St. Studio in the Bywater. Anthony Brookes, in the first story, referred to the cause of the devastation as "the wrath of Katrina"... [the second was more light weight]

In comments, someone says:

The most recent edition of "On the Media" had a good story on the myths of Katrina, along with a bit of gratuitious navel gazing on journalists becoming part of the story.

And, provides this: mp3 link, mp3 link. If you listen, leave a comment.

NPR on BBC, Southern Culture, and Deliverance

NPR's ombudsman discovers that the Beeb is even more biased than they are:

Specifically, the BBC appears to be focusing on the oddities of American culture and politics. There have been numerous interviews with spokespersons that seem to represent a view of America straight out of movies like Deliverance or In The Heat of the Night. They don't sound like anything that would be heard on NPR.
The BBC also seems to portray aspects of Southern culture in a less than flattering light, especially in its interviews with local religious leaders who see Katrina as divine retribution for New Orleans' "sinfulness."
I am sure that the BBC is not inventing these interviews. But the effect is that it sounds less like reporting than like caricature. Public radio listeners likely understand what is going on -- that BBC cultural assumptions about the United States remain mired in a reflex European opposition to American foreign policy. But what comes through the radio sounds mean-spirited and not particularly helpful; it probably evokes knowing glances and smirks among editors and producers back in London.
There is more right than wrong in the BBC's coverage. But when it comes to portraying certain American cultural expressions, the BBC seems to have a tin ear.
Listeners, I suspect, may be left wondering how to reconcile the differences between NPR and the BBC that they hear from their public radio stations.

Subscribe to RSS - npr