September 01, 2005

Michelle Pilecki: Come Hell or High Water -- Or Both

Originally posted by Michelle Pilecki from The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed, reBlogged by ts

The presses must roll on. At least virtually. The New Orleans Times-Picayne foretold this disaster several years ago, but there’s no sense of “we told you so” in its current mission. The 168-year-old newspaper is still “publishing” with a must-read blog with the latest updates. Managing editor Dan Shea, according to The Wall Street Journal, said that many staff members were continuing to work knowing that their homes in New Orleans have been flooded out. “There’s massive flooding, sometimes above the first floor,” he wrote in a text message yesterday.

We will not miss a day of publishing, if the brave people whom I’ve lived with for the last two days can help it. Most of our readers are now outside of the city and we can reach them on the Internet. We also want to restart some printing and get papers to the residents left behind.

Staffers have since split up to file from the Houma Courier (in southwest Louisiana) or the Advocate of Baton Rouge, which is also offering a temporary home to the New Orleans bureaus of such news organizations as the Associated Press and Washington Post, according to Editor & Publisher.

In its story on the beleaguered staffers, the WSJ leads and links with the Times-Picayune’s award-winning “Washing Away” series from 2002 (thanks to Romenesko for the tip). The series’ topics are eerily Cassandra-like: “A major hurricane could decimate the region, but flooding from even a moderate storm could kill thousands. It’s just a matter of time.” “Levees, our best protection from flooding, may turn against us.” “Evacuation: It’s the best chance for survival, but it’s a bumpy road, and 100,000 will be left to face the fury.” Go read.

Besides the Times-Picayne’s own excellent website, check E&P’s blog tracking the best coverage of the entire flood-stricken area.