Media & Communication Department
The Environmental Implications of 9-11:
A Closer Look at Media's Coverage
This project explores the implications of 9-11 press coverage from
September 2001 to January 2003. My eyes were opened to the environmental
issues of 9-11 in Environmental Communication with Dr. Leggett.
A text that we read entitled Fallout painted a disturbing picture
of the reality of chemicals present at Ground Zero which, in actuality,
extended miles away. I wanted to focus on the people involved and
at risk. What information had been made available to them throughout
the past year and a half, and how had it come across? As for the
sources used in my study, I chose 21 New York Times articles. Using
the Times as my only news outlet offered the opportunity to distinguish
particular patterns. I realized that even though the environmental
information should have been made public immediately, realistically
it may not have been. Additionally, I decided to focus on one Times
author: Kirk Johnson. As Johnson remarked in the beginning of his
career at the New York Times 20 years ago, "Any company can
deal with success... the challenge lies in dealing with disaster."
Through the study, I became more aware of media traditions by developing
my own sourcing strategies and correlating my findings with texts
used in our class.