Wednesday, January 13, 2010

CNN Delivers Excellent Coverage From On-The-Ground In Haiti

Hi everyone. Wow. As noted in my last post, I do a lot of criticizing on this blog (well-deserved, in my opinion), but boy did our CNN friends kick some major ass tonight. To put it simply, the broadcast was riveting--each piece seemed to be more heartbreaking than the next. Given the circumstances, I'm afraid a review in my snarky blog voice would seem wildly out-of-place, and even a general recap wouldn't do the reports justice.

So really, I don't have a huge amount to say. A couple of references were made to Hurricane Katrina during the broadcast, and watching all of today's coverage, I was really struck at how similar the situation felt to me as a viewer. There was even a moment earlier today where Anderson Cooper said the word "devastating" in such a way that my mind instantaneously flashed back to a moment during Katrina. A different setting (and perhaps now a bit more muscle bulk on our anchor), but disturbing similarities.

Even some of the players are the same. It was actually during the aftermath of Katrina that I learned the names of Gary Tuchman and Chris Lawrence. Then here they were tonight, again producing impressive reporting that surely made some other viewer pay attention to them for the first time. It was also great to see Ivan Watson, who rarely gets to appear on CNN domestic. And of course I always love Sanjay Gupta.

Regarding the chaos that broke out behind Anderson Cooper's live shot, instances like those are what I refer to as "true reality TV." We live in a world where 99.9 percent of what we see--even news--is packaged and filtered for our consumption. But every once in a while (moments during 9-11, Katrina, Sago, even Nic Robertson fleeing his live shot in Iraq), something raw and astonishing occurs. What happened tonight was amazing, though beyond disconcerting, especially given the likelihood that it will be a very long time before many Haitians are helped. I thought CNN/Anderson handled a very uncertain situation well.

As noted in my last post, CNN has set up a page that lists organizations offering Haiti relief. Help if you can! Also, like with the Iran uprising, Twitter is proving to be pretty huge regarding this story. I've set up a special Twitter List of journalists (and a few others) tweeting from on-the-ground in the country. Also, I've been doing a lot of tweeting myself, so...follow me (@newsjunkie365). That about does it. Below are some of the videos I've been able to find from tonight's broadcast. Keep Haiti in your thoughts and prayers.

True reality TV. False rumors of flooding and a possible tsunami cause panicked chaos behind Anderson Cooper's live shot. Later we would learn the rumors were started to get people to drop their belongings and flee. Horrible.:

Ivan Watson's heartbreaking report from a medical clinic:

Gary Tuchman's amazing report from the streets of Haiti, as well as him talking with Anderson afterward:

Anderson's intro of the broadcast, and his piece on the rescue of a 13-year-old girl from beneath the rubble:

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Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

I agree with you, I watched the heartbreaking coverage. This unfortunate area didn't need this to deal with along with everything else that makes life so difficult there. When they showed the graphic that reflected $1.00 a day as average pay, I felt more resentment towards the greed of those accepting/demanding bonuses at Wall St. I hope that by Thursday the outside help can start rescuing those still trapped in the rubble. Anderson's report of the rescue attempts of the 13 year old girl was indeed riveting. I can only imagine the suffering she is enduring with a broken bone without any medical assistnace coming soon. Anne D.

3:26 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Anne: Yes, the whole situation is horrible beyond words, but the coverage has been stellar. I really hope we don't start seeing the mood of the country turn violent. I keep thinking how quickly things turned during Katrina. Desperate people are capable of anything. Let's pray they get relief soon.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Anne said...


I listened to the NPR program, World have your Say, today. They have been in SW Florida this week. They aired before an audience of Haitians here. Their faith is so strong here as well as there. It reinforced to me how faith helps you in times of despair. All lot of people lose faith in bad times, but that's when it gives you strength to carry on. Since rescuers are now on the scene, I feel that will help stem off violence.

7:31 PM  

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