One of this year’s most exciting AEJMC panels offers a firsthand look at how news organizations along the Eastern Seaboard dealt with the threat, arrival and aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and presents strategies for covering future natural disasters.
“Covering Superstorm Sandy: Local News Organizations Are Put to the Test,” on Friday, Aug. 9, 3:15 p.m.-4:45 p.m. in Mount Vernon Square A, brings together three journalists (courtesy of the Community Journalism Interest Group) and two academics (courtesy of the Electronic News Division).
Scott Hodgson of the University of Oklahoma will lead off with a deeply moving video he produced about coverage in the days before, during and after the storm. Journalists from along the mid-Atlantic coast reflect on their preparations, their roles and the effects of their work on their audiences. Their passion for service is palpable.
Randy Bergmann, director of community engagement and editor of the editorial pages at the Asbury Park Press on the Jersey Shore, will discuss the paper’s mobilization for storm coverage and its continuing work in Sandy’s wake.“Recovering from Sandy remains the top story for the Jersey Shore,” Bergmann wrote in an email.
Debbie Galant, founder of Baristanet.com and now director of N.J. News Commons, an innovative news cooperative atMontclair State University, will explain how this groundbreaking program helped news organizations throughout the state.
Ned Berke, editor of Sheepshead Bites, will talk about how his hyperlocal site in Sheepshead Bay covered one of the hardest-hit communities in Brooklyn during the storm and how it continues to cover the rebuilding.
The presentations will close with Adam Glenn of CUNY’s graduate journalism school, with highlights of how he organized the student news service and a look at a AdaptNY, a new project that models how cities can prepare for future extreme weather events like Sandy.
There will be ample time for Q&A. Barbara Selvin, a ComJIG member from Stony Brook University, is the panel’s moderator.