I said last week--and I still say--thank GOD for the television broadcast news during the New Orleans disaster specifically. If not for the live camera feeds, it wouldn't have taken long for what happened to people in the shelters declared safe for them -- where they remained for nearly a week without food, water, in their own waste, with dead bodies, and not allowed to leave -- to turn it into some kind of affirmative action excuse. "OH it wasn't that bad. At least they lived. There were plenty of white people who found ways to get out."
That the rescue of the people in and around the superdome, convention center, and overpasses happened at all was because CAMERAS WERE WATCHING and anchors began reporting what they really thought (that the situation was INSANE) because they had no government-sanctioned information handed to them to spew (the kind of thing FOX News usually relies on).
The complete breakdown of communication and chains of command, combined with the daily trauma the anchors were exposed to, turned CNN and FOX reporters into talking bloggers--with opinions and all. They became involved, got biased, got sick, picked fights, and in the end, gave proof through the night that no help was still there.
And maybe the BBC is right, that American journalism may have just gotten the reality check it needed.
Look out bloggers: The report of the death of mainstream news might have been a wee bit premature.