Tuesday, August 29, 2006

NY Inquirer draws on "Recording Katrina"

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All of us at "Recording Katrina" are pleased to have drawn the notice of the New York Inquirer ("The first all-online alternative weekly"; "We don't break news -- we put news back together") where Andrew Bast and his team have assembled a feature one-year retrospective on the disaster: "Katrina: One year later, shameless silence." It's a perfect fit between two non-traditional news gathering teams -- Bast complimented "Recording Katrina" as a great resource as he researched the series, and the Inquirer will run one of riggsveda's accounts on Thursday. We thank him in advance for including riggsveda's story and mentioning our group blog, and invite everyone to have a look at the Inquirer series.

Some background, at least as I see it: this blog was fellow "RK" blogger eRobin's ("fact-esque") idea. She and I were outraged by what we were seeing in the news in the first weeks after the hurricane hit, the levees broke, and the Bush administration proved so incompetent and venal at everything (again).

We were also moved by the raw, first-person accounts we were finding around the Internet which we had started to mention in posts on our blogs, and we decided to collect links and excerpts in one place. Soon after, we were joined by riggsveda ("it's my country, too") and thatfarmgirl, who have posted first-person accounts about what they saw and learned as volunteers. Now riggsveda is adding new entries from her time in Louisiana in October, 2005.

Over time we've also included other "nontraditional" takes on Katrina, including everything from activist organization press releases, and key official documents and reports, to satellite photographs, innovative or freelance journalism, and more. When a post isn't a narrative by one of us, I think we've succeeded in keeping our own commentary to a minimum and letting the accounts and documents we've found speak for themselves. We haven't been all that different from everyone else in moving on to other topics as well, but maintaining this site has challenged us to keep paying attention to the story and continue recording what we found.

Personally, the main way I'd like to see "Recording Katrina" improve is to get some Gulf Coast residents and/or Katrina survivors to join us. If you're interested, leave a comment here or e-mail one of us, and we'll let you know.

CROSSPOSTED in revised form at "newsrack." NOTE: banner by permission of the New York Inquirer.
UPDATE, 8/31: "My Darlin' New Orleans" at the NY Inquirer.


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