Media & Communication Department

logo white

Lauren Lopchinsky
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.