Communication Fiasco After Katrina

The End of the Information Age: Many of the horrible rescue-and-recovery problems in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina are the understandable results of a destroyed infrastructure. However, the coyotes are non-plussed by the complete failure of everyone with a communications responsibility--government officials, first responders, the military, and the media--to think at all creatively and improvise. It's as if everyone has noticed that the normal communications structures--cell phone towers, phone lines, cable and TV systems--have been destroyed and that no communications will occur until this infrastructure is repaired. This is insane. Communications is a process--of delivering content to an audience in one-way communications or of exchanging information in two-way communication. It you can't deliver/exchange information via cell phone, telephone, television, or the Internet, then you find another way to do it--via runners, leaflets, newspapers wrapped in plastic bags (like the one dropped for free on my lawn from time to time), information centers, carrier pigeons, megaphones, or whatever is at hand. We find it especially absurd that the media industry is focused entirely on gathering information from the site of the Katrina disaster--which they do very well--and appears to have no sense that it has any responsibilty to deliver information to the victims of Katrina--or their rescuers. Wile E..

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