NOLA.com saves lives

Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans has produced many fascinating stories, one of which is chronicled in an Online Journalism Review article by Mark Glaser on NOLA.com, the companion web site of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. It is a “companion web site” because Newhouse Newspapers, which owns the T-P, made the corporate decision a number of years ago to develop web sites as separate entities from their newspapers. It is a system that has drawn much criticism, but in this situation it may have produced at least one advantage. NOLA.com editors had developed an expertise in creating and operating public forums — something that other newspaper-run web sites have lagged far behind in doing. That expertise is being credited with saving the lives of many people trapped by the flood in New Orleans.

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Jim Stovall, a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker and beekeeper -- among others things.
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