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New book looks at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the context of the dawn of social media

A sign was displayed on a highway near New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Nam Y. Huh
A sign was displayed on a highway near New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

This month marks 18 years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the southeastern United States, uprooting the lives of many who lived in New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf states. It took the storm only a matter of days to wreak havoc on the region. But it took – and continues to take – years to repair all of the damage, which is just as much emotional and psychological as it is physical.

In his new book, “Connecting After Chaos,” Tulane professor Stephen Ostertag writes about the ways many New Orleanians turned to social media to cope with the aftermath of the storm. He joins us for more on the book, and what he learned in his decade of research leading up to its release.

The Louisiana governor’s race is heating up, so we thought now would be a good time to revisit a story on P.B.S. Pinchback, who became the first Black governor of Louisiana – and in the country – over 150 years ago.

In December, Louisiana Considered managing producer Alana Schreiber spoke with Joseph Dawson, a retired history professor from Texas A & M University and editor of the book, “The Louisiana Governors: From Iberville to Edwards.” Today, we give their conversation about Pinchback’s life and legacy a second listen.

The cost of – and the demand for – diapers shot up during the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbating the “diaper divide.” For the Gulf States Newsroom, Maya Miller reports on a medical supply company’s efforts to tackle this problem by pushing to eliminate the sales tax on diapers.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Diane Mack. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber and our assistant producer is Aubry Procell. Our engineer is Garrett Pittman.

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12 and 7:30 p.m. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

Louisiana Considered wants to hear from you! Please fill out our pitch line to let us know what kinds of story ideas you have for our show. And while you’re at it, fill out our listener survey! We want to keep bringing you the kinds of conversations you’d like to listen to.

Louisiana Considered is made possible with support from our listeners. Thank you!

"This is NPR's Morning Edition, at 89.9 WWNO. Good Morning, I'm Diane Mack."
Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WWNO from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.