NBC's Williams Says Era Of Reticent News Coverage Ended With Katrina
"When tragedy befalls the United States, when the event takes place that demands our attention, viewers come roaring back to the broadcast networks," he says. "It's the resources we can bring to bear on a crisis that sets us apart. We were able to operate in New Orleans in places where the federal government was not. We beat the first responders. We set the agenda during this particular event. We were witnesses, so we drove the story."
Williams says a long period of reticence by news organizations -- which he dubs "the 9/11 syndrome" -- ended with Hurricane Katrina.