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#1 2005-09-11 08:08:42

Anne
Moderator
Registered: 2004-09-08
Posts: 3,833

Chron's Lise Olsen shows up New York Times

As I read this Captain Ed post yesterday, a little something he wrote caught my eye:

So why can't the New York Times do some research at least equal to that of the Houston Chronicle[...]?

That's not something we read everyday!  But in my humble opinion, some of the Chron's reporting, especially the metro reporting, has improved quite a bit. (I am NOT talking about the DC bureau.)

The story that Captain Ed is referring to is this fine piece by Lise Olsen about how New Orleans didn't follow its own evacuation plan:

It was not the evacuation plan authorities had envisioned for its sick, its elderly and its poor. As the floodwaters recede, serious questions remain about whether New Orleans and Louisiana officials followed their own plans for evacuating people with no other way out.

The mayor's mandatory evacuation order was issued 20 hours before the storm struck the Louisiana coast, less than half the time researchers determined would be needed to get everyone out.

City officials had 550 municipal buses and hundreds of additional school buses at their disposal but made no plans to use them to get people out of New Orleans before the storm, said Chester Wilmot, a civil engineering professor at Louisiana State University and an expert in transportation planning, who helped the city put together its evacuation plan.

Instead, local buses were used to ferry people from 12 pickup points to poorly supplied "shelters of last resort" in the city. An estimated 50,000 New Orleans households have no access to cars, Wilmot said.

State and local plans both called for extra help to be provided in advance to residents with "special needs," though no specific timetable was prepared. But phone lines for people who needed specialized shelters opened at noon Saturday  barely 30 hours before Katrina came ashore in Louisiana.

Congratulations Lise Olsen -- you showed up four of the vaunted New York Times' reporters!

UPDATE: I should have added Laurence Simon's "go-local" admonition.





Link to post: http://www.bloghouston.net/item/1816

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#2 2005-09-11 08:45:30

Laurence Simon
Is Full Of Crap
From: Houston, TX
Registered: 2004-10-17
Posts: 1,564
Website

Re: Chron's Lise Olsen shows up New York Times

If you're getting your local New Orleans news or your local Houston news from a paper based in New York City, why not just shove your head COMPLETELY up your ass and be done with it?

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#3 2005-09-11 09:05:19

Anne
Moderator
Registered: 2004-09-08
Posts: 3,833

Re: Chron's Lise Olsen shows up New York Times

*smacks head*

Thank you for reminding me -- I should have referenced your (should be trademarked) admonition!  I will PS it.

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#4 2005-09-11 09:28:08

Kevin
Administrator
From: Tanglewilde
Registered: 2004-09-08
Posts: 6,929

Re: Chron's Lise Olsen shows up New York Times

LaurenceIFOC wrote:

If you're getting your local New Orleans news or your local Houston news from a paper based in New York City, why not just shove your head COMPLETELY up your ass and be done with it?

The Chronicle's coverage of Katrina has been good.

The Chronicle desperately needed to improve its coverage of stories in its backyard. Even last year when it was missing local angles on the forged 60 Minutes documents story, its local coverage needed a lot of help (and of course, the newspaper's coverage of Enron was not good). Aside from the editorial page, the newspaper's treatment of this story has been very good.

I hope that local focus carries over to "normal" stories when the Katrina excitement dies down. A collaborative local politics blog from Stiles and Mack would be nice. A blog from that dreadful editorial board would be good too (if only to expose them to ideas that they clearly insulate themselves from).

But for now, we'll take the improvements we can get. I noticed today, for example, that Campbell's going to have a column now (another of the blogHOUSTON suggestions at the start of the year). That's a positive, although I'm beginning to think they need to shake up the public editor's position more significantly. More on that later, probably....

I haven't watched the other news broadcasts as much, but I think KTRK has done a pretty good job with Katrina also. Anybody have any thoughts on their coverage, or that of the other stations?

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#5 2005-09-11 09:52:45

Anne
Moderator
Registered: 2004-09-08
Posts: 3,833

Re: Chron's Lise Olsen shows up New York Times

I think KTRK has had great coverage of the Katrina aftermath.  KHOU has been pretty good, but as you noted, Dave Ward was really in top form.

Also, it is a disappointment that the Chron can't seem to get a local politics/current events blog going.  We seem to be overrun by fluffy pop culture Commie blogs, but a Mack/Stiles blog would be most welcome and would fill a BIG gap...as long as it's reasoned and not bombastic.  smile

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#6 2005-09-11 15:50:26

DenimDoll
Member
From: Houston, TX
Registered: 2005-01-10
Posts: 14
Website

Re: Chron's Lise Olsen shows up New York Times

That article was mentioned by Tim Russert in his interview of Mayor Nagin this morning on Meet The Press.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9240461/

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#7 2005-09-12 06:47:25

ttyler5
Member
Registered: 2005-01-13
Posts: 457

Re: Chron's Lise Olsen shows up New York Times

Olsen's story was really needed to help correct the entire national news coverage of Katrina and the NOLA preparations and pre-hit evac fiasco.

Most of the dang commentators I've heard on the news broadcasts can't seem to keep it straight whether they are talking about the NOLA preparations and local pre-landfall evac operations or the post-storm response and recovery effort. I mean they just flat out don't seem to catch the difference! 

And also Dwight Silverman was ( the/an?)  on-line news editor for the first Katrina special section, as I understand it.   That's probably one of the major reasons it came out so good ...

BTW, DenimDoll, thanks for the Russert link,  I am glad the national media is beginning to pick up on the monumental failures of the NOLA and state govs on this!

Last edited by ttyler5 (2005-09-12 06:52:44)

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