On the morning of Aug. 28, 2005, the National Weather Service issued an urgent weather alert.

"Devastating damage expected," the message read. "Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks ... Perhaps longer."

A day later, on the morning of Aug. 29 — 10 years ago Saturday — Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast. By that afternoon, the storm had slowly moved on. It appeared that the worst was over.

  Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s award-winning documentarian Tika Laudun sat down to talk with WRKF’s Sue Lincoln about the making of “Katrina: 10 Years After”. The program premieres statewide on LPB and WYES August 29, 2015.

Terri Coleman, Gentilly resident and teacher at Dillard University
Rush Jagoe

You might have noticed a few cameras around town this week. Yes, the entire media world has descended on New Orleans.


But some reporters began digging around the city much earlier in the summer, in hopes of providing more in depth coverage. Anna Sale is the host of a year-old podcast from WNYC, the public radio station in New York City, called Death Sex & Money. Each episode focuses on one person, and gives them the chance to explore and dissect moments from their lives.

As we mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast and killed more than 1,800 people in August of 2005, Here & Now listens back to some of the memorable moments from the storm and the news coverage.

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Christian and Grace Wilson Birch began dating in the summer of 2008 and were married in the fall of 2013.
Grace Wilson Birch

After New Orleans flooded in 2005, documentary filmmakers flocked to the city to tell its story. The city was still getting back on its feet when a film crew spoke with Grace Wilson Birch, a communication associate for the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation.

When the movie was finally released, Grace was depicted as being in the dark about economic disparities in New Orleans. She remembers watching the film reluctantly with Christian Birch, her boyfriend at the time.

The Gulf of Mexico is a factory. That’s according documentary filmmaker Margaret Brown who grew up in Mobile, Alabama.

Brown’s film “The Great Invisible,” explores the lingering impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster five years later. Eleven men died and more than 3 million barrels of crude spewed into the Gulf. Ferreting out the truth was a challenge for Brown whose 83 minute documentary airs today on PBS stations.

This is “Sunshine Week”, with media organizations and civic groups across the nation working to educate the public on governmental access.

Here in Louisiana, the House Appropriations Committee starts working through the proposed budget this morning, yet the budget bill, HB 1, didn’t appear on the legislative website till 4 p.m. yesterday. Meanwhile, the Associated Press asked state agencies for public records regarding worst-case scenarios for the $1.6-billion budget shortfall. AP was told no.

One reason? “Deliberative process.”

“That ‘deliberative process’, which applies only to the governor and only to his office, has been widely used by all the other state agencies,” says The Advocate’s Capitol Bureau chief, Mark Ballard.

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities has announced it will honor New Orleans native Cokie Roberts as its Humanist of the Year. Over the past 30 years, the award has been given out annually by the state’s humanities council as part of an effort to recognize the artists, authors and organizations making valuable contributions to the culture of the state.

The LEH’s Brian Boyles says NPR’s senior news analyst and ABC News’ political commentator was a perfect fit for the award.

Richard Campanella

As NBC announces the 6-month, unpaid suspension of news anchor Brian Williams, controversy over the truth of many of his high-profile reporting trips continues.

While the scandal erupted related to questions about Iraq, in 2003, it has also brought into question Williams’ 2005 reporting in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Among other claims, Williams reported floodwaters around his French Quarter hotel.


Last week I had the opportunity to leave one country deep in protest, the US, for a country in an even bigger state of unrest, Mexico.

Organizers for the 10th annual Encuentro Internacional de Periodistas, part of The FIL a massive international book fair (focused on Latin American authors) held every year in Guadalajara,  invited me to give a talk about the Listening Post project.