Marketwatch’s Jon Friedman….
CNN (TWX), for example, dispatched about 100 journalists to the area extending from New Orleans to Mobile, Ala., and Nashville. They flocked by cars and airplanes from bureaus as far away as Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, New York, Washington and even Los Angeles and San Francisco. The other TV networks had similar levels of commitment.
Thankfully, I didn’t see any suicide footage. I want to believe that the networks wouldn’t have shown it in the interest of not allowing drama to deteriorate into voyeurism. (The lure of high ratings versus dignity? Hmmm. Okay, who am I kidding?)
CNN/US Senior Vice President Sue Bunda compared the level of suffering in New Orleans now “to the human toll of 9/11, in terms of people calling into CNN and asking about their loved ones.”
At one point, I saw footage of a distraught man who couldn’t find his wife in the wreckage. The helpless man’s tears were real and his dismay was genuine. It was terrific, dramatic TV. But the man’s suffering seemed too private for a stranger like me to be witnessing. I felt like a voyeur.