A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

29 August 2006

One Year On

From The Writer's Almanac:
It was on this day in 2005 that Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast near New Orleans. The National Hurricane Center first took notice of the storm on August 23, when it appeared over the Bahamas. At that time, it had 35-mile-per-hour winds. It was named "Tropical Depression Number 12." The following day, it grew into an official tropical storm, with winds of more than 40 miles per hour, and the Hurricane Center changed its name to Katrina.


On the second day of the disaster, the reporters at the Time-Picayune evacuated their building. Two hundred and forty employees and some family members piled into all the newspaper delivery trucks available, and they drove out of the city. When they reached dry ground, they split up. One group of volunteers took a delivery truck back to the city to continue reporting on the flood.

The Times-Picayune editor Jim Amoss wanted to publish a newspaper for the next day, despite his staff's evacuation from the city. He knew that the Times-Picayune hadn't failed to publish on a single day since the Civil War. They eventually set up a new office in Baton Rouge with help from the Louisiana State University's Manship School of Journalism. For the next few days, the newspaper was only published on the Internet, but it turned out to be an incredibly important source of information for displaced families.

Reporters on the staff continued working and writing even though many of them didn't know what had happened to their homes or even their families. By September 1, the newspaper had begun printing the paper again, and they delivered it free to shelters and hotels around the city. On Friday, September 2, reporters brought copies of the newspaper to the Convention Center, where many people had been living for days. Witnesses said that the people at the Convention Center wept at the sight of their hometown newspaper. The Times-Picayune eventually won two Pulitzer Prizes for its Hurricane Katrina coverage, including a gold medal for meritorious public service.

There's been a lot of discussion about the who's and why's of the Katrina disaster. Today I'll leave it to someone else. Reduced to the barest bones, it was a natural disaster and a tragedy, and today that's all that needs saying.

Let's read about someone who's doing some work down there: Via November Song (where there appears to be no way to permanently link a given post, sorry), and thus to George Rodrigue, we have the Blue Dog Relief fund.


At 7:08 p.m., Anonymous Bill E. said...

Excellent piece on the Times-Picayune, had the eyes a bit watery in the office. Reading that, it's a national disgrage that the pathetic talking heads in the hermetically sealed Fox studios are also allowed to call themselves "journalists". Cockroaches is much more accurate.

At 7:21 p.m., Blogger Metro said...

Hi Bill. Yeah, it sure puts Murdoch and Co. in their place don't it?

By the way, check back at the post you first commented on. Message for you--no big secret but most of my other readers won't be all that interested in U7 talk.


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