W. Joseph Campbell takes the media down a peg in the latest UC Press podcast. Campbell, whose book Getting it Wrong addresses ten widely held myths perpetuated by the news media, says these stories undercut the idea that American journalism is a truth-seeking endeavor.
Campbell is particularly skeptical about the myth of superlative reporting that journalists tell themselves about Hurricane Katrina. The notion that media outlets, by and large, stood up to negligent government authorities and called out their lapses in delivering aid is not only self-congratulatory, he argues, but overlooks the dramatically flawed reporting that took place after the event—wildly exaggerated tales of anarchy, mayhem, nightmarish violence and other dystopian scenarios.
To hear Campbell’s take on Katrina, and on current stories that are becoming media-driven myths, listen to the podcast: