Media Focus Elsewhere Hurts Gulf Coast Relief Efforts

Media coverage pales in comparison to Katrina disaster
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2008 10:01 AM CDT
Media Focus Elsewhere Hurts Gulf Coast Relief Efforts
A Red Cross volunteer hugs 20-month-old Emmanuel Matias while giving him candy and cookies in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.   (AP Photo)

Relief organizations are struggling to raise funds for their work in hurricane-battered areas of Texas and Louisiana, a marked difference from 2005, when millions flowed in to help Katrina victims. “The camera and the lights didn't stay on” this time, a Red Cross worker tells MSNBC, distracted by fresher stories about the financial crisis and political campaigns.

Though not as severe as in 2005, the damage from this year’s hurricanes is substantial and the Red Cross says its relief efforts could cost up to $150 million. Ironically, “there would have been a huge outcry” if the groups weren’t better prepared this time around, says a philanthropy expert. “The expectations have grown, but the giving hasn't.” (More Gulf Coast stories.)

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