Weakened storm Gustav lands west of New Orleans; hundreds of employees publish live news coverage

[Army National Guard members patrol the 5th District today after Gustav skirted New Orleans, in this USA Today photo]

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET. Gannett employees from Louisiana and Mississippi, fortified by teams from Florida, Des Moines, USA Today and elsewhere, are covering Hurricane Gustav‘s landfall today, publishing videos and other news reports live and real-time. As millions fled inland, The Times in Shreveport, La., and other sites streamed live storm video.

Watching the story unfold, Gannett Blog readers cheered: “GREAT JOB SHREVEPORT!!!!!!!! The best paper in Louisiana, and the best operating committee and publisher in our company,” one said in a comment, below. “You guys are doing a great job covering the storm.”

[Storm updates: The Timeshomepage, moments ago]

Do you know co-workers there? Wish them well! Please post your notes in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

Earlier: Gustav revives the overtime-pay debate

[Photo: Rob Curtis, USA Today]

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25 Responses to “Weakened storm Gustav lands west of New Orleans; hundreds of employees publish live news coverage”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Jim-
    Hurricane Ivan?

  2. Jim Hopkins Says:

    Thanks! I haven’t been able to get Ivan off my mind all day: http://tinyurl.com/3yfetg

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Daily Advertiser staff,

    Thanks so much for the hourly update videos. I’m sure it wasn’t easy pulling all that information together.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Great job, Louisiana. This is what newspapers are all about.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    My local paper, the Des Moines Register, is sending two staffers to Louisiana to cover the hurricane. At a time when Gannett is cutting positions across the board, why is the Register wasting money on this?

  6. Susie Forrester Says:

    Hello Shreveport!!

    Glad to see you guys doing so well at the best paper in Louisiana… in my adopted home state! Your site is awe-some! Streaming video? Wow! You have got a few long days ahead of you, so pace yourself, it’s going to be a long week for all of you. You are doing a fantastic job of taking care of your community during this disaster…. keep up the good work, it will all be worth it, I promise. I’m so proud of you guys!

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I wish they’d take volunteers. I’d go.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I second that, Susie. Shreveport is a great town and we love our paper here! I hope all the reporters stay safe who are covering the storm. You are doing a great job!

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Jim Bradshaw in Lafayette is doing a yeoman’s job. Keep up the great work!

  10. Anonymous Says:

    After its work with live video feeds during Tropical Storm Fay, Florida Today sent three journalists to Louisiana to assist Gannett’s coverage of Gustav.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Videos are a great addition to our newspaper sites, and its execution in la shows the power. ALl are being powered through Mogulus the streaming company Ganentt recently bought an interest in. Looks like they made a wise investment, eh?

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Great job by the Clarion Ledger bloggers, Chandler and Bonner. Keep up the good work and stay safe.

  13. Shirley Says:

    Anon 12:17 wonders why a sister paper might send people from Iowa to Lafayette, La., to help with Gustav coverage.
    Could it be that it’s because most recently the Advertiser had to lay off six people and is maybe, 10 down from staffing when it did a magnificent job of covering Katrina.
    In a time of cost cutting, being able to call on others in Gannett to pitch in is one of the strengths of working for a corporation. Those not in harms way can send a couple of excited reporters or photographers where they are needed.
    I read the Advertiser every day during Katrina. The stories were compelling and the newspaper became a regional touchpoint for people affected by the storm, whether they evacuated or stayed behind.
    Lafayette was a major evacuation center, throwing open homes and public buildings to storm vicitms. It was one of the earliest places that accepted pets. And the Advertiser team covered it all in a way that made Gannett and the newspaper’s admirers proud.
    So that’s why …

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Here’s another reason:
    “Baton Rouge, La. -The Iowa National Guard is sending 245 guardsmen to Louisiana to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav, expected to hit the coast today.”

    Local, local, local …

  15. Anonymous Says:

    This just doesn’t make a bit of sense to me, but maybe there’s a reason for it:

    Just clicked on one of the Mississippi papers for an update. Was shocked to see that the main huge update story was written by reporters from a non-Gannett company. The by-lines are there and so is the name of that other non-Gannett newspaper.

    Now, please tell me why the Hattiesburg paper would choose to give readers that update instead of, say, the wonderful updates from USA Today and the Clarion Ledger reporters who are blogging from the coast?

  16. Shirley Says:

    CORRECTION:
    So, the Iowa reporter and Web guy aren’t in Louisiana to help the smaller Louisiana newspapers like the Advertiser. They’re blogging from Baton Rouge …
    [Bangs head on keyboard] never assume, never assume, never assume.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    This from Des Moines’ man in Baton Rouge:
    Some of our Gannett colleagues are already leaving New Orleans for Lafayette, which seems to be getting the brunt of the storm. We’re remaining in Baton Rouge, where we’ll monitor the command center here and get briefings from top state officials. We’re joined by a colleague from USA Today, another from the network of five Gannett newspapers in Louisiana, representatives of local TV stations, and governor’s staff members. They are a very friendly bunch, even on deadline and amid the mass hysteria that disaster coverage always brings. We are feeding live video to websites that in effect are offering a half-dozen channels of live coverage from Gannett. Our colleagues tell us the Register’s roving storm team has been one of the more active in providing feeds. This blog has given us something to do while we save our place for the next press conference.”

  18. Anonymous Says:

    GREAT JOB SHREVEPORT!!!!!!!! The best paper in LA and the best OC and publisher in our company. You guys are doing a great job covering the storm. Go Alan and team!!!
    My thoughts and prayersa re with all of you. Keep safe and keep up the great job.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Just to clear up the confusion with some facts, U.S. Community Publishing division and GNS, working closely with Gannett Louisiana papers in Shreveport and Lafayette, La., as well as with USA TODAY and Gannett Broadcasting, marshaled three video crews from Florida Today, Fort Myers News-Press, The Tennessean and the Des Moines Register to supplement live streaming video coverage from Gannett Louisiana points and USA TODAY. These crews were sent in Saturday and deployed where Gannett Louisiana editors, in consultation with GNS and U.S. Community Publishing, thought best. The mission: To cover a big breaking news story and try an experiment: streaming multiple live video feeds to Gannett Web sites in a grid that displays six feeds simultaneously. Gannett Broadcasting supplying meteorologists from TV stations to cut in on the “channels” with live weather reports. So, basic job is to help out Gannett Louisiana and other coastal Gannett properties cover a big story. Shreveport and Lafayette, and all the brave video crews, are doing a great job.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Sorry, but seems the experiment didn’t work for readers at at least one of the papers located in the storm’s initial path. I clicked the video link and got an error message. Makes me wonder why someone doesn’t remove the link or fix the problem.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    Hey Alexandyr, I enjoyed your commentary on the live feed last night in New Orleans. Katie Curic & Anderson Cooper? How cool is that! Keep up the great work. We're looking forward to your safe return home.

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Meanwhile, the mood back home at the Des Moines Register:

    http://iowaindependent.com/4758/dark-cloud-hangs-over-the-register

  23. Jim Hopkins Says:

    I love this post because it lets me pitch in on a big story. I always liked to be in he newsroom when we were cranking out major stories. I felt SO GUILTY the first time I stayed home on an election night.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    The publisher in Shrevesport is a stand up class act. When he left Florida Today the place fell apart.
    Can he come back and we’ll happily send our publisher to Shrevesport?
    (Sorry Shrevesport.)
    Maybe one paper in Florida may have a chance then.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    Great idea, that may be the only way Florida Today can get it head out of it’s @##.

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