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I'm not buying it : a rhetorical study of mediation during Hurricane Katrina

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christopher D. Lewis (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site: http://library.uncw.edu/
Advisor
John Clifford

Abstract: At 6:10 AM on August 29th, 2005, with sustained winds reaching 145 miles per hour, Hurricane Katrina made landfall near Buras, Louisiana. Thousands of people were left with no access to food, or water, or shelter. The affected area was in need of immediate assistance. They needed action. Their local government, their federal government, and we as fellow citizens, as fellow human beings, watched the victims of this horrible tragedy through some form of mass media as they were forced to wait for food, water, and shelter and little was done to help them. Inherent in our national failure was a lack of understanding as to how our information was delivered to us and how it both shaped and manipulated our understanding of Hurricane Katrina. Our national mediation through mass media was neither examined nor thoroughly understood. I examine the mediation of Hurricane Katrina through the mass media sources of television news, including both broadcast news and cable news, as well as through the Internet phenomenon of blogging. Many factors motivate our mediation within these mass media sources, including our own capitalism, our immersion in literacy and progression away from oral culture, and a continual push towards individuality and self-awareness. The purpose of this thesis then, is to examine the mediation present in Hurricane Katrina coverage in order to better understand the overarching vehicles of mediation present in the presentation of our world. Understanding where our information comes from allows us to become more active participants in the formation of our world and the ideas that govern it so that our individuality and our literacy are allowed to become compliments to our social obligations as citizens of America and our newly globalized world rather than vehicles of isolation and suffering.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Masters of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
Hurricane Katrina 2005, Search and rescue operations--Gulf States--Evaluation, Mediation
Subjects
Hurricane Katrina, 2005
Mediation
Search and rescue operations -- Gulf States -- Evaluation