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Posts Tagged ‘human interest’

The Gulf Oil Disaster: a peek at the nature of its media coverage

by February 25, 2011

When the Deepwater Horizon wellhead blew out on April 20th this past spring, as with what happens in most catastrophic events, the media went into frenzy.  What followed was a continuous feed of news stories about the Gulf disaster for a little longer than three months. These stories not only described what had happened, but also speculated as to what should happen, made measures of accountability, debated on restorative and retributive justice and described the potential impacts on economic markets and environmental systems as a direct or secondary effect of the spill.

Articles were written from a few varying perspectives: the heartfelt human interest stories, which pushed to convey empathy by humanizing the events; stories told on the basis of markets, externalities, profit and loss; pieces highlighting the corresponding actions of heads of government and policy makers, and stories illustrating the threats that the disaster posed to ecological systems and also populations reliant on these systems.

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