Discussion Leader, Topic One

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COM 460 Blogging, Media and Politics

COM 460 Blogging, Media and Politics

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  • 1. Hurricane Katrina Coverage from the Times-Picayune and NOLA.com Discussion Leader Ashley
  • 2. Times-Picayune and NOLA.com The Background…
    • The Times-Picayune has 602,744 in daily readers and is the 34 th largest American Newspaper
    • It began publishing in 1837 as the Picayune, named after the Spanish coin equivalent to 6 1/4 cents (1/16 dollar) - which was the price of the paper. It became the Times-Picayune after merging with its rival paper in 1914. (http://www.mondonewspapers.com/newspaper/new-orleans-times-picayune.html)
  • 3. Times-Picayune and NOLA.com The Background…
    • NOLA.com aka New Orleans, Louisiana
    • The NOLA.com site has been previously known for its coverage of Mardi Gras and live web cam.
  • 4. Hurricane Katrina Hits New Orleans
    • The staff thought they would be able to continue coverage through their office, but flooding forced an evacuation
    • “ The idea was to use the web to give breaking information to people and then the full stories would be in the newspaper.” ~Jon Donley
  • 5. What the Times-Picayune and NOLA.com accomplished
    • NOLA.com newsblogs became the source for news on hurricane damage and rescue efforts
    • Were able to include small details
    • They ran two blogs live
    • People started sending in requests for rescues
    • Opinion blog for influx of letters to the editor
    The office Building of the Times-Picayune
  • 6. Why it was successful
    • They embraced new technologies
    • Used forums to locate missing people
    • Servers were located in New Jersey
    • NOLA and the Times-Picayune were able to merge identities
    • Peak of 30 million page views in a day
    The service truck that the staff evacuated the office in
  • 7. What they earned for their coverage
    • The Times-Picayune won two Pulitzer Prizes, including a gold medal for meritorious public service, for the newspaper’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.
    • The newspaper also received a Pulitzer Prize for distinguished reporting of breaking news. Both prizes were awarded to the newspaper's staff.
    • (http://www.nola.com/newslogs/breaking/index.ssf?/mtlogs/nola_localbreakingnews/archives/2006_04_17.html)
  • 8. Discussion Questions
    • Do you think that this type of journalism warrants a Pulitzer Prize? Why or why not?
    • By publishing their blog, they were able to reach their displaced readership, who were all over the country. Do you think that they should have returned to paper copies of the newspaper? Are paper copies necessary anymore?
  • 9. More Discussion Questions
    • In what other ways, do you think, has the Times-Picayune and NOLA.com partnership benefited? What are other positive aspects of media convergence?
    • Questions of your own???