Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A World Class Newspaper is Born


Before Katrina, The Times-Picayune, our local newspaper, was a major part of New Orleans, with a larger market share than any other newspaper in the country. Few people were very happy with it, however. At times it seemed to combine the worst of both worlds: the cynicism of modern journalism and the parochialism ascribed to the South.

The storm seems to have changed all that. The T-P has become a true beacon for the community, combining great factual reporting with a passion for resurrecting our city in a smart and just way. Here's their current series on building a flood protection system that will be as effective as the one in the Netherlands:

http://www.nola.com/speced/ruinandrecovery/

I wrote a letter to the editor to let them know of my newfound respect for them:

To the Editor:

This will look like a told-you-so letter, and perhaps it is, in effect. However, my point in writing it is to compliment you on your outstanding coverage of Katrina, Rita, and the ongoing problems we all face as we work to resurrect our region.

The text below is a letter I sent you almost exactly one year ago. At the time, you were running, on a fairly consistent basis, outrageously silly articles on your front page, even as our nation was at war and our region was at risk.

One year later, I am overwhelmingly proud of my hometown newspaper for the first time. When I picked up my paper today and saw the beginning of your three-part series on world-class flood protection in Holland and elsewhere, I got tears in my eyes.

Your photographers, writers, and editors deserve the highest praise for becoming the best kind of newspaper a city can ask for. You helped keep me going when I was in exile in Baton Rouge. Thank you, and keep up the good work.

Sincerely,
Mr. Clio

----- Original Message -----
From: Mr. Clio
To: letters@timespicayune.com
Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 6:38 AM
Subject: Questionable Choices
To the Editor:

As a New Orleans resident, I want to thank you for your front-page, above-the-fold story about the Northshore Naked Guy (Nov. 9).

I am very pleased that you made me turn to page A-3 to learn how global warning may be melting Arctic ice and thereby threatening local wetlands restoration efforts. I am grateful that I had to turn to page A-9 to learn of the unconstitutional treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Armed with a properly prioritized sense of the key issues of the day, I feel fully prepared to engage my fellow citizens in dialogue about our nation and world. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Mr. Clio

3 comments:

dillyberto said...

"The storm makes us want to put white hats on some and black hats on others." Paul Tag, NFL commish

"The only use I have for Times Picayune is that I train my dogs with it." Aaron Broussard, President, The Independent Republic of Jeffersonia

Mr. Clio, your new respect is encouraging. We need this kind of encourgament now.

Schroeder said...

Ha ha ha ha dillyberto - very good!

Nevertheless, I have to agree. I have been astonished at the contrast between the pre- and post-Katrina T-P.

oyster said...

Amen!

The T-P deserves a helluva lot of credit. I'm terribly impressed at their post-Kat work.