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a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

"Recording Katrina"

Posted by Thomas Nephew on August 29th, 2006

Recording Katrina screenshotAs I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been helping out now and then with a second blog about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. It’s called “Recording Katrina,” and our description of it is

A collection of survivors’ stories and non-traditional reporting on the recovery effort in the Gulf.

The effort was fellow “RK” blogger eRobin’s (“fact-esque“) idea. We were both 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 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 the site challenged us to keep paying attention to the story and continue recording what we found.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingWe’re all pleased now 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 both at the Inquirer series and at “Recording Katrina.”

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.

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CROSSPOSTED in revised form at “Recording Katrina.” NOTE: banner by permission of the New York Inquirer.

One Response to “"Recording Katrina"”

  1. eRobin Says:

    Yet I ought not sound all doom and gloom. We’ve also got a report on Tulane’s revived basketball team as well as a personal essay about a woman so moved by those television images that she left her husband behind to volunteer with the Red Cross.
    Hey! I know her!
    Excellent write-up, Thomas.

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