Tell E&P your IAN story.

Editor & Publisher (E&P) is dedicating this page featuring our own exclusive content along with access to news from other sources, on how our fellow news publishers are faring though, and continuing to report on the impact of Hurricane Ian. Please tell us your Ian story by contacting contributing editor Gretchen Peck at gretchenapeck@gmail.com

Exclusive from the E&P Newsroom

Storm prepping is paramount at The Post and Courier

Autumn Phillips is the executive editor at The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina. “This was a very unpredictable storm. It seemed that we didn’t know what it was going to do and where it was going to hit, even hours before it reached us,” Phillips reflected a little more than a week after the hurricane carved its path north, hugging the country’s coastline.

The Herald-Advocate faces flooding, lack of official communication in hurricane coverage

Tom Staik is the managing editor of The Herald-Advocate in Hardee County, Florida.  “That is a new normal. We’ve had search helicopters since this happened,” he said as one hovered overhead.  The Herald-Advocate publishes its paper on Wednesdays. The day the hurricane landed, Staik and his team talked about how people were prepping for the storm. Before the latest news on crime and sports, the paper featured stories about people installing plywood and school teachers prepping classrooms and tech equipment in case of water damage. 

Hurricane Ian won’t stop our FPA members’ forward momentum

Florida newspapers and their dedicated staffs were there for their communities before, during, and after the hurricanes. And that was certainly the case over the last several days as we saw journalists in Southwest Florida rally in a way to cover Hurricane Ian as the massive storm approached and left its destruction in the very communities they call home. It was the same with our industry’s market leads, GMs, publishers and the production folks who were also instrumental, whether publishing in print or online, in making sure local readers were given the tools they needed to lessen the storm’s impact.

Hometown News Florida publishes on time, no matter the weather

Anna-Marie Menhenott is the managing editor for the Treasure Coast and Brevard County editions of Hometown News. Menhenott lives in Ft. Pierce on Florida’s east coast, which has known its fair share of high-category hurricanes.

Hurricane Ian inspired an all-hands-on-deck approach to coverage at the Observer Media Group

Eric Garwood is the managing editor for the Longboat Observer and Sarasota Observer in Florida. The Longboat Observer is the paper of record in Longboat Key, a coastal and barrier-island community of approximately 7,500 residents. The Sarasota Observer informs a city of 55,000 residents plus readers beyond the city limits.

Tampa Bay Times’ journalist Zack Sampson shares perspective on covering Hurricane Ian.

Zachary “Zack” Sampson is on the investigative team at the Tampa Bay Times. He’s also a member of “the hurricane team,” which includes investigative, breaking news and beat reporters. “We prepare for hurricanes here well before the hurricane even forms,” Sampson said. “They have a season, June through November, so we have hurricane training once a year to go through with the staff how to stay safe, what coverage expectations are and how to go about getting that coverage."

The Naples Daily News reporters file stories, despite power and cell interruptions — and great personal loss

Wendy Fullerton Powell is one of the hundreds of thousands of Florida residents with homes without power. Her house and neighborhood were severely damaged by Hurricane Ian’s violent storm surge. As executive editor at the Naples Daily News, Powell is leading the newsroom’s journalists as they so many of them report on the storm’s wrath while attempting to recover and rebuild their own lives. E&P spoke with her by phone the Saturday after the storm. While she recounted her team’s experiences covering the hurricane, she watched in the distance as helicopters continued to evacuate residents from islands off the coast.   
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More on Hurricane Ian Coverage

As journalists, we need to change the way we cover disasters

Fewer tragic narratives about survivors, more stories about the causes of coastal disasters and who benefits from government rebuilding grants.

Why Hurricane Ian brought the college journalism classroom to mind

A recent natural disaster highlighted the importance of what journalism educators do every day.

Media coverage of hurricanes reinforces images of people of color as victims, study finds

As Hurricane Ian made landfall, devastating parts of Florida, South Carolina and the Caribbean, readers saw media images of destruction, rescues and recovery. How images from such disasters are presented often cast people in certain roles.

These Florida morning show hosts stayed on the air for 12 hours after Hurricane Ian

Last Friday, after Hurricane Ian shifted south and devastated southwest Florida, David Jones and Meredith Michaels stayed on the air for 12 hours talking with callers, finding answers and crowdsourcing information.

Journalists want to know: Can we use your disaster photo, please?

Journalists pleading with regular people to republish their images of a natural disaster has become an almost daily ritual on social media, where local, national and global outlets search constantly for newsworthy images taken by regular people.
More Exclusives from the E&P Newsroom
Reporting on prisons in the United States can be challenging and often frustrating for even the most respected publications and seasoned journalists. It can't be approached like any other beat. The good news is that organizations are penetrating the confusing, dense veil of prison policies and prison life. And, they’re supporting prisoners who dare to write as incarcerated journalists and sharing tips with editors and journalists on the outside who want to report on prisons.
Like it or not, unexpected situations are going to keep happening. Whether it’s a hurricane, a snowstorm, a tornado, a power outage or a new pandemic, the “unexpected” seems to be coming at an increasing rate. So, with that cheery thought buzzing around in your brain, what can we do about the big, scary unknown? As often happens in these columns, Doug Phares makes one simple suggestion: Be prepared.
The term “objectivity” is itself subjective. If you were to poll the public about their desire and demand for “objective” journalism, many might opine that reporters should stick to the “who, what, when, where and why” model — sans the “why” part. But the “why” is, after all, the essential context of the story, and without it, the public is less informed and not as inclined to read the bare-bones carcass of the story that remains. Of course, contemporary conversations about objectivity and fairness in reporting are much more nuanced and complex.
In the early days of the internet, a few early adopters were starting careers in the news industry and seeing opportunities in digital that their bosses did not fully understand. Today, digital pioneers have become the bosses. Those ahead of the digital movement — like Conan Gallaty, Lisa DeSisto, Grant Moise and Robert Granfeldt — saw their careers take shape in ways they never expected.
Louie Mullen owns over 30 weekly newspapers in small towns across seven states. “Every newspaper is run as an individual. It is a representation of that community. It’s more of an old-school style of running newspapers,” said Mullen, who is buying community newspapers across the country. And, his ownership style is hands-off.
Gaps in news coverage are spreading across the country. But even with this challenge, newsrooms are finding resources and innovative ways to save or even revive their storytelling capabilities. One example is partnerships between universities and media companies. This trend is especially prevalent in local newspapers, which are facing increasing newsroom layoffs as they struggle to survive.
Ryan Sorrell and his team at The Kansas City Defender rely on two methods to reach young people. First, they know that each social media platform has a different ethos, so they personalize content for each brand. Second, they have a broad content mix, blending hard news and culture stories with headlines such as “10 Best Black-Owned Restaurants.”
A report published by the Center for Media Engagement in the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin shows how journalists can connect with stigmatized communities by using person-centered language. Caroline Murray, a senior research associate at the school and one of the authors, says this research is important because it demonstrates how journalists can better connect with the communities they cover.
Over the decades since, there have been dozens of cases of news people who turned to a life of politics. Richard Warner Carlson — known as Dick and father to one Tucker Carlson — famously quit TV news to pursue his political aspirations. Malcolm Stevenson (Steve) Forbes Jr. straddled the world of news and politics, including two bids for the Republican presidential nomination. Sarah Palin remarkably went from TV sports reporter to Alaska’s governor to vice presidential candidate. This year, she campaigned for Alaska’s House seat but lost to her Democrat opponent in the special election. The list goes on and on.
Jennifer Bertetto inherited a deadline the day she became the leader of Trib Total Media. She had two years to save the company. Bertetto was named Editor & Publisher’s 2022 Publisher of the Year at the #NewsMedia Business Summit in Harrisburg on Oct. 13, in part, for rescuing the southwestern Pennsylvania newspaper company from its swift plunge toward bankruptcy. In the process, she retained her commitment to her employees, community and journalism.