Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Kansas City Star #1 Story: Web Coverage of Katrina Blew Away TV News

Ever since Dan Rather put his body between Hurricane Carla and mainland Galveston, Texas, in 1961, television and Mother Nature have enjoyed a tempestuous, but fruitful, relationship.

But with Monday’s all-day coverage of Hurricane Katrina, it appears severe weather has a new suitor: the Internet.[snip]

But as TV cameras struggled to capture video of the rare Category 5 hurricane, news Web sites and amateur blogs offered snapshots and analysis of Katrina that were arguably better. Millions flocked to them with MSNBC.com reporting an all-time record for streaming video requests — nearly 6 million by mid-afternoon Monday.[snip]

Still, anyone with Internet access had little reason to turn on the TV, except if they needed to see Fox’s Steve Harrigan, CNN’s Anderson Cooper or The Weather Channel’s Jeff Morrow doing standups in the mother of all rinse cycles. A number of blogs like LostRemote.com and TVNewser.com were keeping track of cable news coverage all day, and even had links to the key video streams.

Just as it did with bloggers during the 2004 campaign, CNN tried to co-opt the Net. It aired camera-phone shots e-mailed by amateurs in a segment pompously entitled “Citizen Journalists.” One problem: Because television offers a lower-resolution picture than a computer screen, the pictures looked awful. If Daryn Kagan hadn’t said we were looking at a picture of the hole in the Superdome, we might have mistaken it for a UFO, or Big Foot at night.

No comments: