Sam Portera on "Katrina Fatigue"

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Sportera, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    I heard an interesting term on CNN last week and now on the news today. "Katrina Fatigue". Emails and emails from people to the news stations requesting no more Katrina coverage. They say enough already and if this had happened in (fill in the blank) they would have moved on by now. The country is sick of it.

    Let me just say its not for a lack of trying. Our home looks the same as it day the day the water left. We have filled all the paper work out, waiting for SBA, or the FEMA flood elevations that took them 7 months to put out. Still a the answer to the questions that we all need answered:

    Will the levees protect us? Maybe, In ten years a definite maybe.

    Do we have to raise our homes to be get flood insurance? Well we recomend that you raise your home 3 feet and since its on a slab the cost will be $50-100 thousand dollars (for a house you payed less than $100,000. and no flood insurance policies are being written now. maybe in the future you can get flood insurance.

    What about the job market will it come back? Maybe if we get mayor x in office, until then there are plenty of jobs in debris removal and mold remidiation.

    What about federal and state assistance? What? I'm sorry did you say something?

    What about your insurance didn't you get money from your house? Oh yes, about half what we should have and the mortgage company took that.

    Why would anyone in there right mind want to rebuild with assurances that a. There will be levees that actually protect us b. we have to raise our homes to maybe get flood insurance. and c. no jobs at least in my field.

    If anyone has the right to have "Katrina Fatigue" its us, we are still living it.

    How do you feel about it?

    I suspect most that are sick of the coverage have no idea of just how bad it is down here. Do you know how sad it is to have your kids birthday in a FEMA trailer? Do you know how sad it is to own only what can fit in your trunk? Do you know how it feels to have an entire communtiy ripped from you? Your job? Your friends and family?

    I say to those who are sick of it to come here. Give me a call I'll show you what your not seeing on TV. I'll show how people are living here in hell.

    Understand that I have received nothing but kindness from the good people here. I just wanted to rant and clear some thing up a bit.

    June is getting very near and we are not the least bit ready.
     
  2. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I am sure there is much hardship in the aftermath of Katrina. There is also much hardship in Kashmir where hundreds of thousands are still in temporary shelter following last October's quake there. People are still rebuilding 16 months after the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Both the latter disappeared from news coverage fairly quickly.
    So much has happened worldwide in the past 18 months or so that 'compassion fatigue' is no surprise.
     
  3. argus

    argus Member

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    No problem with your little rant, Sam. I have always liked your coverage in the galleries ot the Katrina disaster.
    It keeps us help remembering how tiny we are in relation to natures' forces.

    People get bored quickly: Irak, Tsunami, Katrina... always waiting for the next big thing to happen. The ones that got hit by a previous disaster tendto be forgotten too quickly but they are stuck to it for the rest of their lives.

    G
     
  4. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    Kashmir, Iraq, Indonesia. i am not down playing those horrible stories, but to voice out that your sick of anyone of these topics is simply wrong. yes so much has happened and will continue to happen, but do we limit the time we cover any of these disasters like a feature film.

    There is so definite ending, just endless stories, all of wich deserve our attention.
     
  5. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    A significant chunk of the population is pretty self-centered, so the fact that some are complaining about the continued Katrina coverage isn't too surprising. Obviously, they aren't getting the message that a lot still needs to be done.
     
  6. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council

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    Unfortunately, the TV stations will listen to the 'Katrina Fatigue Victims'.

    TV is all about filling space between commercials (edit-added later) and getting as many viewers to stay so they can charge as much as they can for each 30 seconds of advertising.

    Murray
     
  7. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    If no one is complaining about the perpetual coverage, sustained purely by speculation and imagination, of the poor girl that disappeared in in Aruba last year, let me be the first.

    The ongoing tragedy and recovery in the aftermath of Katrina should be of as vital importance and interest to every American as the initial preparation and response. Now that we all know what to expect of our government in the event of a natural or man-made disaster in our own cities and towns, we should be interested to see how the aftermath is being handled.

    My deepest hope is that after the upcoming hurricane season, we will still be discussing Katrina and the recovery and not some new terrible catastrophy in N.O. or anywhere else.
     
  8. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    Flotsam you are correct, if this was the litmus test for disaster recovery, we failed at every level. Whats worse is that we continue to fail, day after day.

    I have said it before, I sincerally hope that none of you are ever in a situation where you need help from your government. It just never comes.
     
  9. david b

    david b Member

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    I am appalled by the lack of information and news I get here in NM about NO and the rest of the region that got slammed.

    I have to go to www.nola.com to get my info.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    katrina fatigue ?

    seems more like add.
    most people seem to have the attention-span of a fish.
     
  11. agGNOME

    agGNOME Member

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    All of these disasters deserve our attention... what else keeps the issues alive? Obviously there's always more to the story than what is glorified by the Infotainment world of news. I don't have a tv setup for reception. I was supposed to be there during the storm and was talked into staying away by family. So, I followed the live coverage and aftermath coverage by radio for days on end. It was surreal to listen as the conditions worsened after the storm had passed. Nola.com was the only other connection; still is a relevant source. It took about a week to get in touch with those that stayed , or even those out of state as phone lines were down, or overloaded with users. Since then keeping abreast of progress, actually stagnation, has been through visiting friends and family. For the insider information I have a couple of friends that are New Orleans firemen....the stories are simply incredible. The longer the conditions linger the more we lose. They are so many obstacles in the way of recovery...it's a vicious cycle that continues.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2006
  12. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Radio talk shows and online news programs probably will do better than TV.
     
  13. haris

    haris Guest

    1. All media, especially electronic don't want to show bad thigs in prolonged time. Nobody wants to have reputation as "messenger of bad news", so all wants as soon as possibile to turn to "sunny" things.

    2. "Far away from eyes is far away from heart". So, if I am not directly affected I don't care, especially in prolonged time period.

    3. We all wach CNN or BBC or Oprah show or... Time line is most important. NO matter how serious issue is, 30 minutes per show and then off to another theme. No way to change time line for sake of seriousness of issue disscused in show. That is what media established, and that is what they force viewers to get used to. You know, we must play commercial ads... And what really can be discussed or solved is 30 minutes show in which you have 5 guests...

    And so on...

    So, I am not surprized.
     
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  15. thebanana

    thebanana Member

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    I can't even imagine how disruptive this has been to thousands of families like yours. The response by the various authorities, especially at the federal level has been shameful. The insurance and mortage companies seem to have been looked after, but joe citizen has been dry humped six ways to Sunday.
     
  16. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    One place where you will get in depth coverage of the current state of affairs in the Katrina ravaged area is National Public Radio's All Things Considered news program. They have been doing features on a weekly basis covering various aspects of the recovery and the struggles facing residents in the post Katrina era.

    Sadly, for the rest of the media, recovery is not a sexy news story. Catastrophe, destruction and corpses drive coverage.
     
  17. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    NBC this last week was airing some after the storm NO stuff every day, although I only caught one broadcast, so do not know how extensive it was. I also did see some of the same tv personalities as before continusing to talk about it. There have been other reports as well that has kept it in front of my eyes, but alot of the reportage has been how assistance is lacking. Outside of NO, I do not know too much about the GULF coast in general as coverage seems to be especially lacking there, although I believe they are in as bad if not worse condition being that gov assistance basically disapperared; Probably thanks to the debt of the war in Iraq. Now finger pointing is on FEMA and how they want to replace it because of the bad job it did. I believe that it was a total mismanagement from the top down and that the whole administration is at fault. Next time maybe we'll vote for someone who is actually a better administrator.

    If anything has been learned, it's that you can't depend on the GOV to help. The U.S. is deep in debt, as bad as most credit card holders, and we don't have the money to fund any projects of relief except as it trickles in. Of course meanwhile Exxon is making record profits; Well as least my friend Jay is living off the dividends.

    What makes me wonder is where the ourpouring of support by the American public went? I think it would be prudent to next time fund the local churches and townships then to give to gigantic non-profit corps. Locals know what they need and usually can get it faster if funded right.

    If anything, a public diaster plan absoutely needs to be in place and our elected officials should make it their priority to place such an important agenda at the top of the list. You can't count on the GOV or the insurance companies anymore. Your on your own.
     
  18. jovo

    jovo Membership Council

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    On Thursday of this week I sat in the auditorium where I teach, and listened to Nick Kristof of the NY Times (who just won a Pulitzer Prize for his commentary..his second Pulitzer I might add.) discuss Darfur. He is a compelling speaker and a deeply compassionate and vivid reporter of the nightmare of horror and vicious genocide in that sorry place. After I'd heard the words "rape", "mutilation", "murder", "torture" etc. for 45 minutes or so, I am embarrased to admit that they began to sound almost commonplace...the shock of what they meant began to abate. I refused to allow myself to fall into that word weariness and forcefully demanded of myself that I really listen and try to treat each account anew. But it wasn't easy.

    Because I live in NY and had close ties to 9/11, I still break down from time to time when I'm reminded of it. It still matters. So does Katrina and the thousands of lives that have been disrupted and torn apart by it. I work to keep these things in the present enough that I can respond willingly in whatever way I can to help. Again, it isn't easy. But it's something that I, and all of us must strive to do.
     
  19. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    John, I could not have said better myself.

    Wayne, I can say that none of my family or extended family got money, The redcross drove a van through the streets handing out food for a few months. Water too. The money ended up in someones pockets.

    I don't know who americans gave their money to, but Ive only seen the red cross doing anything at all. Church groups make the pilgrimage down here and "gut" houses witch helps us a lot.

    Never seen the United Way, or any other charity group.

    Ask davidb, he saw it first hand. it was interesting to see an outsiders reaction to the "progress" He came down here five months after to see for himself and I admire him for that, we have since became freinds.

    Cameron, I like you knew there would be a story there and my photographer mind saw some possibilies but my father/husband mind won out and I stayed with my family.

    Thanks for the responses, sorry for the rant. Just had to get it off my chest to someone.
     
  20. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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  21. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    Very interesting link. Thanks for posting it.
     
  22. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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    I'm getting APUG fatigue...
     
  23. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    Just take a walk, APUG Fatigue wears off.
     
  24. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Member

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    Sam I appreciate your tragically beautiful documentary.

    Have you chosen to not to put faces on the documentary, not to photograph the remaining citizens such as yourself, those "fighting the fight" "keeping the faith" or have most of them "moved on"

    Here in Las Vegas, in the months following the storm, a great effort was made to relocate and employ as many as possible....in recent news interviews here in Nevada ,many, I would say most all, of those leaving New Orleans and now employed here in the hotel industry and in the Clark County school district, have indicated that they will not be returning to New Orleans. I imagine this only adds to the difficult situation of redevelopment and reconstruction, i.e when you do not have advocates present and on the ground demanding help and relief? Owning a home in the Florida Keys I have first hand experience, though not to your extent, of the frustration and feeling of helplessness in these situations, hurricane Georges in particular cost us several years of frustration to even get back on track and it never will be as it was...

    In any case the lack of national and local governmental planning and ability to carry out effective relief is unacceptable, the reports and evidences of local corruption and incompetence are shameful. These facts should be heavy on the hearts and minds of every American...

    Thanks again for posting your photographs.

    Dave
     
  25. joneil

    joneil Member

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    Hi Sam;
    Couple of thoughts. First off, thanks for the picutres, keep them comming please. I enjoy them (if that's the right word).

    Secondly, some of us do have something of an idea of what you are going through. One of my staff members did 5 weeks of human remains recovery in New Orleans. The debriefing i had, followed by the constants updates on the possible implications of bird flu - well - some of us do not sleep so good at night.

    Last, people who say learn to depend on yourself first and the government second (or not at all) hit the nail straight on the head. Fire, hurricane, tornado, flood, bird flu - whatever - governments simply do not have the time, money, people or even the expertise in many case to effectly help in the time needed. Learn what you need to do to ready yourself in these situations. If you never need it great, but if you do, you really will need it

    joe
     
  26. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    Dave,

    I'm glad to know that some of our NOLA brethren have found a life and work in Las Vegas. Thank you for your comments and for what your community did for those New Orleanians.

    Joneil,

    Im not sure what your trying to tell me. I am not relying on government becasue I don't have to, My wife and I have jobs and money coming in, but many don't. The sitiuation is far to complicated for me explain here but suffice it to say that if you are getting your knowledge of this or any other disaster, from the national media, you are getting a small snap shot of the misery.

    NOLA is and will come back, that is the NOLA that tourist come to see. The French Quater, Downtown, and Convention area. The hotels are at 25% right now and thats mostly releif workers (FEMA, SBA, Trailer contracters). In fact right now there is no cheaper time to come to the city, the hotels are dying for your buissiness.

    But the NOLA that I knew, the communities are gone, possibly forever. Thats what makes me stop and take a deep breath. The NOLA of the New Orleanians is what I miss. With out the help of the government its simply impossible for us alone to rebuild. Its too massive for our meger insurance settlements to handle

    The politics, levees, FEMA, SBA, insurance, flood elevations, future storms, all complicate the matter of whether to rebuild or not.