Eve Troeh: It's Time For The News After 'The News'
Labor Day has passed. And while it would be foolish to open your doors expecting any hint of autumn breeze, early September this year does bring a particularly needed respite.
We will not be hearing the K-word, and its accompanying R-word, several times each day. Local outlets did their heavy lifting, looking back and looking forward. The national camera crews have packed up and headed back. The hotels have emptied of the many visiting journalists, charity and nonprofit workers, experts and onlookers.
Everyone did, indeed, do a heckuva job getting through the ten-year mark of Hurricane Katrina – whether you hid out at home, took in a second line, threw a barbecue, got out of town, or went to one of the many conferences, lectures or panel discussions.
Having completed our summer series The Debris, and our contributions to national outlets including NPR’s Katrina10 coverage, WWNO's news staff is ready to move forward with some new projects.
Our Coastal Desk work continues, covering the science, policies and social and cultural impacts of Southeast Louisiana's disappearing wetlands. WWNO is part of a new national reporting team assembled by NPR to cover energy and the environment. Chosen from dozens of applicants from around the nation, WWNO will serve as part of a 12-station collaboration reporting on national energy and environmental issues, with an eye toward the United Nations climate change talks in Paris at the end of the year.
Producer Laine Kaplan-Levenson will be launching a new series in partnership with the Historic New Orleans Collection and the Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies. TriPod: New Orleans @300 explores elements of New Orleans history related to life today, as the city heads toward its tricentennial.
A new project from producer Eve Abrams takes on topics of incarceration in Louisiana, and its impact on communities. By some measures, our state has the highest rate of incarceration on the planet. More details to be announced from this award-winning documentarian soon.
Our education reporting efforts continue, helping Orleans Parish understand the continuing changes of a mostly-charter school system, as teachers also incorporate Common Core into their curricula. WWNO's Mallory Falk also serves as part of the Southern Education Desk, a multi-state collaboration. See that work online, for an "in-depth exploration of education in the 21st century South."
Ongoing challenges like high incarceration got a lot of play in Katrina+10 coverage. Other figures often repeated as New Orleans took the spotlight this summer: the city's high child poverty rate, high unemployment rate for African-American men, a lower number of minority business owners than in cities with similar demographics, and the lagging redevelopment of some neighborhoods as others see real estate prices skyrocket. As we move past this time of acute remembrance from the flood, we carry with us the obstacles that still remain to achieving a better New Orleans in its wake.