Country Was More Interested In UK Election Than Nashville Floods

At this point it’s possible more ink has been spent on talking about how the media didn’t cover the Nashville floods than has been spent on the floods themselves. The floods coincided with both the BP Oil spill and the Times Sq. Bomber (and shortly thereafter the Elena Kagan nomination) and, amazing as it sounds, somehow got lost in the 24 hour news cycle.

Now, the latest numbers from Pew present an interesting question, does coverage create interest or interest create coverage. In the weeks following the Nashville flood (May 10-16), and around the time the focus began to be on how little coverage there had been, the public expressed more interest in the European financial bailout, the UK election, and David Cameron (all of which have certainly received excessive coverage on the blogosphere and various cable channels) than Nashville, which did not even register in the poll. Which is both strange and upsetting on a number of levels, not the least of which is that it’s often the media coverage that generates the sort of public donations needed during a crisis (cf. Haiti). It’s almost enough to make one wonder whether cities won’t soon start employing media strategists specifically for emergencies.

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