BMI on TV: Businesses Stepping Up to Help Calif. Fire Victims

Business & Media Institute Director Dan Gainor appeared on the Fox Business Network October 25 to talk about business contributions to victims of the Southern California wildfires:

Every time there's a disaster, when we had Katrina and now with this disaster - [Businesses] immediately take out all the stops. Already I've seen at least $4 million contributed from charity from Wal-Mart, from Bank of America, from Disney, from Target, the business community steps up right away. When we had Katrina, there was like $70 million contributed within days ... and almost no coverage at all.

A few might be starting to catch on - CNN did mention contributions of Home Depot, MasterCard, Verizon, Sprint and Wells Fargo on the October 26 "American Morning."

Video (1:41): Real (2.12 MB) or Windows (6.11 MB) or MP3 (607 KB)

Some aspects of wildfire coverage are already starting to echo Hurricane Katrina. Back in 2005, BMI found that business contributions were underreported in television coverage:

Hurricane Katrina received nearly 24-hour TV coverage in the past week, from rescue tales to the horrors of flooding, crime, and people struggling to find food and water. Then demands for accountability started pouring in - but so did private donations to the relief efforts. While print outlets like The Washington Post, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal detailed more than $500 million given by American individuals and businesses, network news focused on pleas for giving with passing coverage of those who answered the call.