When the media gets bored

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I guess a rural area with primarily migrant population isn't exotic enough news for the media. Take Belle Glade. Hurricane Wilma destroyed about 75% of this town on the east side of Lake Okeechobee. This area is largely agricultural...major sugar cane farming. Consequently, the workers are primarily migrant workers. Guatemalans, Mayans, Mexicans, etc. Often they live together in cramped quarters, 8-10 people in a postage-sized apartment. Every payday they stand in long lines at the post office to mail money to their families back home in the countries they came from.

These workers barely had anything before and now don't even roofs over their heads. But those the media report on their condition? Heck no. They long ago pulled up stakes, heading for 'bigger' stories. Go figure.

Carol Stephenson


Toni Lea Andrews said...

I honestly believe the media is encouraged to under-report the damage so as not to discourage tourism. I had to detour around a downed power line TODAY in a poorer neighborhood in South Miami. Don't see that on the main drags. Guess that street is far enough off the beaten track that it's not a priority.

Mary Stella said...

In the Keys, we'd love for the media to follow-up on their stories about the damage with stories about the recovery process and how hard we've all worked.

Carol, do you have any information on relief efforts for the workers in Belle Glade?

Carol Stephenson said...


No, I don't. My friend is an attorney with Legal Aid and goes to Belle Glade on a regular basis. She indicated the area is just devastated and the Palm Beach Post on Sunday ran an article that the percentage of destruction in Belle Glade/Pahokee is closer to 80%. I know Red Cross is out there but with that much destruction, it has to be overwhelming.