Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Katrina: a cameraman's journal in NOLA (BoingBoing)

from Part One:
Excerpt from a personal diary written by a friend who's a news cameraman working in New Orleans. Name and affiliation withheld by request. This was written on Sunday, September 4th, six days after the storm hit.

New Orleans - The Real Story
It's September 4th in New Orleans, and unfortunately - no one is getting it right, not the Feds, the State, the Local folks or the media. I'm sure that many people are trying, but for what ever reason- it is a rotting, deteriorating mess.

I'm only writing this because of what I watched on tv last night. It was the first chance I've had to see some of the coverage and what I watched was pathetic. I sensed it yesterday when, amongst the chaos of the unfolding disaster, you realized some of the differences between what is happening here compared to major calamities we've endured recently.

There are almost no news crews in the field trying to cover the story. Hundreds, if not thousands of media people are in the region - but I have driven back and forth through some of the worst neighborhoods in the city and you don't see them. You don't see the National Guard… don't see ANYONE, except for the poor unfortunate souls wandering the streets looking for food or water. Many of them are on their last legs; they are literally not long for this world. It is surreal; it's like a zombie scene from Dawn of the Dead. It's disgraceful that in our times, we are seeing the complete disintegration of our ability to care for our own.

from Part Two:

New Orleans - September 9th

I've been here in New Orleans a week and on a daily basis I'm witnessing the staggering expanse of Katrina's destruction. I've driven over a thousand miles around the city and the individual tragedies stretch from block to block. Whether traveling by air boat (remember the tv show "Flipper"?) or Humvee or by foot, every single street contains the remnants of someone's life. Endless debris fields - entire life savings. The wreckage crosses all economic lines.