Ajax Bell

Author of the Queen City Boys books

no news is definitely not good

2 Comments

The corner of Electric Ave & Village St. Near my house. Shot by my friend Jacob Briggs.

A lot of folks in other parts of the country have told me that they aren’t seeing any, or barely any national news coverage of the flooding in Nashville (aside from my constant yammering here).  On the one hand, I get it.  I mean the oil spill, car bomb, truck explosion and Tylenol recall all potentially affect a lot of people.  On the other hand, a lot of people here in Nashville are already affected and many more probably will be.

I went and read through headlines as I haven’t thought about much but Nashville in 5 days.  And I went and read national coverage of our situation here.  And I think what bothers me the most is coverage that says things like, “the Cumberland river spilled over it’s banks,” and “weekend rains raise rivers in Middle Tennessee.” I don’t suppose that every single news story needs to be a violent and realistic depiction of exactly how disasterous things are here. Then again I know we won’t get the help and support we need if it looks like we just got a little wet, you know?

The local news here has done good coverage.  Thankfully, since they need to keep all of us informed.  People interested can follow breaking, local interest stories at the Tennessean, WKRN and WPLN.

Morgan and Christy, who run Nashvillest.com have done an AMAZING job of keeping everyone here informed.  Their blog has been filled with useful helpful and timely information.  But what is the most impressive is their Twitter feed.  For five days they have literally been spreading the best information that they have to anyone listening.  They have been passing on first hand accounts, rallying volunteers, getting news to people and getting people to help.  The work they’ve done is so incredibly above and beyond the call of duty of an average citizen that I feel emotional and teary just writing about it.

The work these two girls have done is an exceptional example of how well technology can work. Take a minute and read back through their blog posts and Twitter updates.  Imagine being in a disaster situation where parts of your city where cut off and maybe you had no access to TV but you had a phone on you and could get regular updates from their feed.  It’s been invaluable to thousands of people in this city.  Nashville is a city of Heroes right now.  Like the college president who rescued a faculty member with his canoe.  Like all of our emergency workers, volunteers and rescue folks.  Like all of our friends and neighbors who helped carry, pump, drain and dry.  Heroes to the last little one.  But those Nashvillest.com girls surely helped more people than they will ever know.  I want to thank them for putting together a web presence that has helped me and pthers in so many ways in Nashville, but that really, REALLY came through for us in this disaster.  If you see either of them around, buy’em a beer, alright? I don’t know what else we can do, but they definitely deserve a cold drink on us.

Most importantly for those of you not directly affected by this, check out Nashvillest’s post on what you can do to help.

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2 thoughts on “no news is definitely not good

  1. I get a lot of my news from my friends on livejournal and the blogosphere, so I was aware of the flood all along.

    What I notice, in quickly touring the biggest new sites this morning, is that foxnews.com is giving this story *exceptionally* low prominence, and is making their Big Story of the day about “students kicked out for wearing American flag clothing!!!!”

    cnn.com has a special breakout on “Tennessee floods”, while it’s the lead story on msnbc.com.

    So I think when people say it’s “not on the national radar” that reflects the story’s low profile on Fox, in particular.

    hm, let me check the network news sites (front page only):
    – nothing on abcnews.com
    -nothing

  2. arrgh, pushed wrong button:

    – nothing on cbsnews.com
    – nothing on bbc’s americas page

    This is less than the NY Times or Washington Post have, too, much less the Christian Science Monitor (csmonitor.com, my favorite news site). So I think it’s TV news, in particular, that’s neglecting the story — and it’s one segment of TV news, Fox+ABC+CBS.

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