Vicky Collins Online

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Haiti Earthquake: Telling the Story

Woman in Rubble of Haiti Earthquake

The Los Angeles Times and the New York Times are doing a great job reporting a backstory in Haiti.  Their journalists are telling how broadcast and cable news handled the incredible logistics of deploying their people to Port Au Prince to cover the story.  This is not to diminish the role of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube and cell phones, but to get people like Anderson Cooper of CNN, Brian Williams of NBC and Katie Couric of CBS, along with their entourages, to a country with no infrastructure and then see them on the air within 24 hours after the disaster is an incredible feat.  I am watching my friend Kerry Sanders, who is based in Miami for NBC News, cover this story and it looks like he is taking this disaster personally.  Through exhausted eyes and a sick heart, he is reporting about a country and people he cares about deeply.  In one poignant report he said “this city is now the saddest place on Earth.”

What strikes me about the comments following these articles is the vitriol and nastiness aimed at these first responders.  Sure these are the “celebrities” of the networks but they go because this is a story of such tremendous magnitude and their reporting is touching people who are in turn helping to open the floodgates of aid to Haiti at this most terrible time.  I am shocked that anyone would be critical of these efforts.  They are allowing all of us to bear witness and stay informed.  They are moving us to reach for our wallets when we are powerless to do anything else.  Who cares if the broadcasts are rough?  Who cares if Al Roker is doing the weather from the tarmac?  He is also interviewing the people from all over the world who are arriving to roll up their sleeves.  Why shouldn’t Ann Curry be desperately trying to get on a chopper?  Why shouldn’t she rush to the scene along with rescuers and NGOs to cover one of the greatest catastrophes ever?  They’re not getting in the way.  They’re making sure the Haitian people are not forgotten.  I wish I was there with them.  Get real, people.     

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-haiti-media14-2010jan14,0,3499947.story

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/worlds-news-media-enters-port-au-prince/

For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.

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Homeless Children

The plight of homeless children was the focus of two articles in the 5/18 edition of USA Today. One is about 11 year old Zach Bonner who is walking from Atlanta, Georgia to Washington, D.C. to raise money and awareness for homeless youngsters. He hopes to meet with President Obama when he arrives in July.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-05-17-wagon-boy_N.htm?csp=34

The other is by CBS anchor, Katie Couric, who draws attention to the rapidly growing “collateral damage” from the economic downturn, children, whose families have lost jobs to layoffs and homes to foreclosure as the recession has worsened.

http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2009/05/the-recessions-tiniest-victims-need-help-too.html

While working on a story about the impact of the economy on public hospitals I had a chance to see for myself the world that children, some formerly middle class, live in when they lose their homes. Besides being on the move many try to keep their shame a secret from friends. Attending school, receiving medical care, transportation, everything is difficult.  Thanks to Zach and Katie for telling the story.

For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.