One city’s disaster is a boon for its newspaper

2 September 2007

When Katrina crushed New Orleans, its circulation was down to zero from 245,000. It lost 20 per cent of its staff, mostly due to personal reasons. Still, the Times-Picayune, the 171-year-old daily based in the Big Easy, is an odd success story in an industry reeling from bad news.

“We’re a relatively healthy business again in contrast to most newspapers in the country right now. It’s counterintuitive. I figured within two or three months the adrenaline would be gone and we’d collapse from exhaustion. I am amazed to say this has not happened,” says editor Terry Baquet.

Reason?

The paper’s enthusiastic embrace of the internet. Before the hurricane struck, the paper’s site, received 80,000 page views a day. In the first week after the storm, it received 32 million and became a hub for people sharing information, looking for loved ones and seeking solace.

Read the full story here: New Orleans’s must-read newspaper

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