Full Coverage

Anthrax and Afghanistan Dominate the News, but Are We Getting the Full Picture?

How much time do you spend keeping up with the news? If I'm in the house, I watch about a half-hour of news. I mostly read magazines like Time. I try to stay away from ones like People.

What are you doing to escape? I'm originally from Chicago. I've only lived in New York since the beginning of the year. I still feel like a tourist here. My idea of relaxation is walking around and looking at things. Just being in the city interests me. I've noticed a change in people since the attack on the World Trade Center. They're careful and kind, although lately I've seen some of the old New York coming back. Slowly but surely.

Age 23
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Musician

What do you think of the media's coverage of the crisis? You want to get as much information as possible, but with this anthrax thing, I think the media's been good at after-the-fact reporting, but not good at reporting done in anticipation of an event. In terms of Afghanistan, I also don't think we're getting the whole story. There was so much pressure to just do something that everyone's just lined up behind the military campaign and the idea that Osama bin Laden was entirely responsible for the attacks. I don't like the fact that professors and journalists have been fired for expressing doubt about our "shoot first, ask questions later" policies. This flies in the face of the First Amendment.

How much time do you spend keeping up with the news? At first I was glued to the television. Because of the collapse of the trade center antenna, I only have channel 25, and I watch their foreign news and try to adopt a cosmopolitan outlook. I've been reading the paper, but I'm also trying to return to some of my normal activities.

What are you doing to escape? In the days after the attack on the trade towers, I tried practicing my guitar, but it just seemed so useless. I want to do things like go to the movies, but I can't yet. Lately, I have found that I've been working on my music more, as though the only thing to do under these terrible and provocative circumstances is be productive.

Age 22
Resides Staten Island
Occupation Student

What do you think of the media's coverage of the crisis? I watch the news, and for now I think they're not hiding anything. Having said that, I do have a natural suspicion of the government and the media and don't always believe what I'm told. For instance, although I personally feel pretty safe, I'm also sure that the terrorists are already here.

How much time do you spend keeping up with the news? I was addicted to the news in the weeks following September 11. Now I watch a little CNN every day just to catch up with the day's events. I don't want to sit in the house and be afraid.

What are you doing to escape? I go to work, see my friends. I don't go to the movies to relax because I'm not a movie person, and I can't shop as a distraction because I don't have any money. Essentially, I listen to music. CDs are always playing. I've been trying to just get back to my life, although when I take the ferry from Staten Island, I see people having their pictures taken with the trade tower site as the backdrop and I want to yell at them, "Stop it! That's a graveyard! There are people in there!"

Age 42
Resides Bronx
Occupation Truck driver

What do you think of the media's coverage of the crisis? I think it's being covered pretty well, but I'm not getting enough information on anthrax prevention. They should tell parents not to let kids open the mail. I myself have started to be very careful about opening the mail. I think there's concern about scaring the public, and too much information might incite people to panic and riot or to attack Arab Americans.

How much time do you spend keeping up with the news? I read the Daily News, and I listen to the radio, 106.7 and 94.7, which is my Christian station. I'm born-again. They are saying that these are the final days. There is a lot of information in the Bible about what's going on now.

What are you doing to escape? Prayer and physical training are good for the body and the soul. I also do a lot of meditation. I've been listening to jazz and to oldies radio, which I find relaxing. I haven't been to the movies since the 11th. I don't want to sit in total darkness with people I don't know. Who knows how good the security is there? Basically, I'm trying to live my life, to be skeptical but not scared. I have to think that when my number comes up, it comes up. Though I will say that if they come after me with a box cutter or say they have a bomb, I'm going to die trying to stop them from doing whatever it is they are trying to do.

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