MEDIA WATCH: Blackout casts light on US vulnerabilities

The 2003 Blackout, the largest ever, spotlighted the need to update the US electrical grid. Editorial writers across the country were nearly unanimous in viewing the outage as a wake-up call. Others focused on how the public's handling of the crisis impressed them. Fears that a similar blackout could occur again, anywhere in the country, exposed the US as vulnerable to terrorism.

The 2003 Blackout, the largest ever, spotlighted the need to update the US electrical grid. Editorial writers across the country were nearly unanimous in viewing the outage as a wake-up call. Others focused on how the public's handling of the crisis impressed them. Fears that a similar blackout could occur again, anywhere in the country, exposed the US as vulnerable to terrorism.

Most frequent messages 1 It was a wake-up call to fix the US' outdated electrical grid 2 The public responded well to the blackout 3 The blackout exposed the US as vulnerable to terrorism 4 Ex-Energy Sec. Bill Richardson: US is a superpower with a third-world electrical grid' 5 Utilities have had little incentive to reinvest in new transmission capacity in era of deregulation
  • Based on 47 US newspaper editorials appearing August 15-16, 2003. Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International.

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