Demand more from WWL radio
The first topic of the day on WWL radio today?
"Rabbit Ears, HD or Satellite-How are you gonna watch the game?"
It's only when I'm driving to work in the morning, or taking a lunch break, that I can listen to WWL radio news. Unfortunately, most of the time, it seems that the only news WWL thinks we residents of this destroyed city need to hear is Saints news.
With some 200,000 flooded homes in New Orleans (120,000 severely flooded) -- and most of them still not repaired, with over 300,000 residents still not back in their homes, with a foundering neighborhood planning process, with an invisible mayor, with insurance companies ripping off their policyholders, with Entergy claiming it will have to raise rates 120 percent while its parent company is making billions in profit for its shareholders ... with so many more issues on the table in post-Katrina New Orleans, its seems logical that citizens need more information from newsmakers explaining what the hell is going on.
But WWL is more optimistic. It's Saints season! And the Saints are going to be on Monday night football. Who cares about all that other depressing, tedious crap. News? Phewy! You wanna rebuild New Orleans? It's all about the Saints!
While driving to the doctor's office from work yesterday, I tuned in for a few minutes of a now rare newsmaker interview with Steven Bingler -- you know, that's Steven "Bungler," the guy whose inept Concordia planning firm got the no-bid contract to oversee the most important planning process in history.
The fact that nobody understands what his firm is doing, that there's no transparency to the process, that this was a rare opportunity for citizens to actually hear what Bungler has to say in the hope that he might clarify what's happening ... well, you might believe that WWL agrees, and that it would post the audio from that interview on the internet for residents to hear on demand -- but you'd be mistaken.
WWL could argue that it doesn't have an obligation to archive its audio on the internet, sure. But it's the prominence and frequency with which WWL advertises itself as the "official" news station in an emergency that ought to produce a more enlightened appreciation of its mission to the community.
In fact, WWL advertises on its Web site that it's looking for reporters who want to cover "The Story of the Century." Applicants might want to consider how much they like covering the Saints before sending in a resume, because it seems WWL thinks "the story of the century" is not the rebuilding of New Orleans, but the Saints.
I think there ought to be a larger discussion about what the responsibility is of both broadcast and cable outlets to the community. I won't go into it here, but just for the sake of stimulating thought, I'd direct readers to consider the number of radio stations out there that have returned right back into what they were doing pre-Katrina, playing the niche format-ratings game, spitting out mediocre music as a vehicle for advertising, rather than addressing the needs of the local community.
Does anyone remember how broadcasters are supposed to prove to the FCC that they're fulfilling a mission to serve the community when they reapply for a broadcasting license?
I think it could pretty easily be demonstrated that with a few questionable exceptions, none are. Which could make the next round of FCC application reviews interesting if anyone wanted to challenge a broadcaster's license.
Back to WWL, I never used to listen to WWL before Katrina, because it was full of obnoxious talk show hosts. The only reason I started to listen to WWL after Katrina, was because I could hear it all the way over there in Pensacola, and with virtually no information at all coming out of the mayor's office, other than The Times-Picayune online, WWL was the best place to go for information.
Now, a year later, I find fewer and fewer reasons to tune in.
I'm still waiting to get a response from the General Manager about requests I've made to have recovery-related interviews posted on the internet archive.
Consider the following tabulation of programs archived on the WWL site for the month of September through 9/21. Hurricane recovery ranks as only the third most important issue:
- 41 programs about Saints football (56 percent)
- 14 programs about Vince Marinello (19 percent)
- 11 programs about hurricane recovery issues (15 percent)
- 4 programs about LSU football (5 percent)
- 3 programs about crime (4 percent)
- Saints WR Joe Horn press conference 9/21
- Saints Head Coach Sean Payton press conference 9/21
- Saints RB Deuce McAllister press conference 9/21
- Saints QB, Drew Brees explains the keys to the Flacons defense 9/21
- Tommy Tucker and Monica Pierre talk about ethics City Councilmain at Large Arnie Fielkow 9/21
- Harrahs GM Jim Hoskins talks to WWL's Dave Cohen about opening the new Harrahs Hotel this week 9/21
- Saints LB Scott Fujita press conference 9/20
- Saints Head Coach Sean Payton press conference 9/20
- Falcons RB Warrick Dunn press conference 9/20
- Saints QB Drew Brees press conference 9/20
- Saints RB Reggie Bush press conference 9/20
- Falcons Coach Jim Mora press conference 9/19
- Bobby Hebert and Kenny Wilkerson visit with Falcons kicker, Morten Andersen 9/20
- Garland Robinette visits with Saints Owner, Tom Benson 9/20
- Tommy Tucker and Monica Pierre interview Superdome spokesperson Bill Curle 9/20
- Kenny Wilkerson visits with Saints Wide Receiver Joe Horn 9/19
- Saints Fans Buying Season Tickets tell WWL's Dave Cohen they are excited 9/19
- Saints Head Coach Sean Payton on Green Bay game and preparing for Atlanta 9/18
- Tommy Tucker and Monica Pierre go one on one with Saints QB, Drew Brees 9/18
- Former President Bill Clinton speaks to WWLs Garland Robinette 9/16
- LSU versus Auburn Audio Preview for Site 9/15
- U2 and Green Day among the musical acts booked for Saints' Monday Night Football, WWL's Kenny Wilkerson tells Chris Miller 9/14
- Saints RB, Deuce McAllister Post Practice Press Conference 9/13
- Saints RB, Aaron Stecker Post Practice Press Conference 9/13
- Saints Head Coach Sean Payton on preperation for Greenbay 9/13
- Green Bay Head Coach Mike McCarthy 9/13
- Saints QB, Drew Brees Post Practice Press Conference 9/13
- Saints RB, Reggie Bush Post Practice Press Conference 9/13
- Garland Robinette interviews Walter Leger of the LRA 9/13
- WWL's Dave Cohen talks to Superdome Commission Chairman Tim Coulon about phase 1 construction completion at the Dome 9/13
- Bobby Hebert and Kenny Wilkerson visit with LSU Head Coach, Les Miles 9/12
- Bobby Hebert and Kenny Wilkerson visit with Saints DT, Brian Young 9/12
- Spud McConnell Talks Superdome restoration with Bill Curl of SMG and Tim Coulon chairman of the Superdome Commission 9/12
- Garland Robinette visits with Mayor Nagin 9/12
- Mayor Ray Nagin and his One New Orleans Committee on 100 days progress report 9/12
- Bob DelGiorno and Monica Pierre go one on one Viginia Boulet - Mayor Nagin's Advisor on Entergy 9/12
- Garland Robinette visits with Virgina Boulet 9/11
- LSU Football Coach Les Miles talks about getting ready for the Auburn Game 9/11
- Saints Coach Sean Payton Monday news conference after Saints beat Browns 9/11
- Bob DelGiorno and Monica Pierre go one on one with Saints QB, Drew Brees 9/11
- Don Dubuc and Monica Pierre interview Mary Elizabeth Marinello's mother Bertha Norman 9/8
- WWL's Bob Mitchel expresses his feelings about the arrest of Vince Marinello 9/7
- WWL's Hokie Gajan comments on a dear friend and Colleagues (Vince Marinello) arrest 9/7
- WWL's Bobby Hebert comments on a Colleagues (Vince Marinello ) arrest 9/7
- Attorney Jack Martzell provides analysis on the Vince Marinello case 9/7
- Sheriff Harry Lee Explains what took place on the day of the murder of Mary Elizabeth Marinello 9/7
- Sheriff Harry Lee explains why Vince Marinello has been placed on sucide watch 9/7
- WWL's Kenny Wilkerson goes one on one with Harry Lee on the decision to charge Vince Marinello with Second Degree Murder 9/7
- WWL's Kenny Wilkerson comments on a Colleague (Vince Marinello) thats in trouble 9/7
- Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee announces the arrest of Vince Marinello part 2 9/7
- Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee announces the arrest of Vince Marinello part 1 9/7
- UNO Criminologist Dr Peter Scharf speaks to WWLs Mike Conti about a spike in violent crime 9/7
- Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee says Marinello murder was a hit 9/7
- Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee on search of Marinello trailer and home 9/7
- Garland Robinette interviews Dan Packard of Entergy 9/6
- Garland Robinette interviews Walter Leger of the LRA 9/6
- Garland Robinette interviews Mayor Ray Nagin 9/6
- Garland Robinette grills the mayor about complaints he's been invisible and negative press 9/6
- Garland Robinette asks the mayor about racism in New Orleans 9/6
- Saints WR, Reggie Bush Press Conference 9/6
- Saints QB, Drew Brees Press Conference 9/6
- Saints Head Coach, Sean Payton Press Conference 9/6
- New Orleans Saints Owner Tom Benson says community has stepped up 9/5
- Bob DelGiorno and Monica Pierre interview Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee 9/5
- Spud McConnell chats with NOPD Chief Warren Riley 9/5
- Bobby Hebert discusses the Saints acquisitions this week 9/4
- Saints Head Coach Sean Payton press conference 9/4
- Saints S Roman Harper press conference 9/4
- Saints WR Marques Colston press conference 9/4
- Saints WR Joe Horn press conference 9/4
- Saints Jamaal Branch press conference 9/4
- Saints G Jahri Evans press conference 9/4
- Bob DelGiorno and Monica Pierre go one on one with Jim Hawthorne the Voice of the LSU Tigers Radio Network 9/4
- Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee comments on the Mary Elizabeth Marinello murder 9/1
- Hurricane Expert Dr. William Gray speaks to WWL's Mike Conti about his revised forecast for 2006 9/1
Tags: Hurricane Katrina | Katrina | New Orleans | Louisiana | America's Wetland | We Are Not OK | Rebuild New Orleans | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Ray Nagin | Recall Ray Nagin | Hurricane Katrina One Year Anniversary | UNOP | Unified New Orleans Plan | Steven Bingler | Concordia | Journalism | Media