Hurricane news: it’s not always what you think – or what you hear

OntheMedia, the radio show about all things journalism, has produced an excellent piece to counter some of the predictable narrative that you are likely to hear as we approach another season in which high winds and waves slam into various parts of the U.S.

Members of FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Nebraska Task Force One (NE-TF1) remove an infant from a rescue boat in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

For media professionals, hurricanes offer the very best kind of bad news, because the story arc is predictable, and invariably compelling. In the latest edition of our Breaking News Consumer’s Handbooks, we examine the myths, misleading language, and tired media narratives that clog up news coverage at a time when clarity can be a matter of life and death. Source: Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook: U.S. Storm Edition – On The Media – WNYC

News consumers should always be wary of what they see and hear. They should understand that recurring news stories inevitably gain a narrative that journalists are expected to follow. Often, that narrative has flaws — flaws that can impede the truth.

This piece helps us understand some of the flaws of “natural disaster” coverage.

 

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About Jim Stovall

Jim Stovall, a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker and beekeeper -- among others things.

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