Water fight intensifies; NBC tells half the story

Over the weekend, NBC Nightly News peered into the long-standing fight between Alabama and Georgia over water. And as the national media usually does, NBC looked at the issue solely from an Atlanta perspective.

Georgia Governor declares drought emergency – MSNBC

There was no mention of the need by residents of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida downstream of their need for water from Lake Lanier. There was no discussion of the sprawl of Atlanta. There was no discussion of the poor use and poor planning for water that has marked Atlanta’s history. The story was framed as Atlantians going thirsty so some endangered species can have water downstream. The multiple reports by NBC News were unbalanced at best, but bordered on being part of the Atlanta propaganda machine against the Army Corps of Engineers, who is required by federal law to release enough water downstream.

Joe Cook, of the Coosa River Basin Initiative in Rome, Georgia, and April Hall of the Alabama Rivers Alliance, provided more perspective in their opinion editorial which ran in Sunday’s Birmingham News.

Less talk, more action, please – Birmingham News 10/21/07

News Editor Tom Scarritt echoes Cook’s and Hall’s request, seeking more planning. However, Scarritt spends time in his piece focusing on new water supplies – an expensive, environmentally damaging step that may not be necessary if we plan better, efficiently use our current resources, and grow more wisely.

Managing our water is essential – Birmingham News 10/21/07

Scott Stantis, editorial cartoonist for the Birmingham News, chimed in with this cartoon.




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