For immediate release
August 10, 2006
Emily Lenzner, NPR


NPR Follows the Year-Long Twisting Trail of Personal, Private and Public Money; to Complement News Coverage with Interactive Features, Blog, Video

Washington, D.C.; August 10, 2006 - NPR recognizes the one-year anniversary of the devastating hurricane with "Katrina: Where The Money Went," a themed multi-part series airing August 27-30 throughout the NPR News program schedule and examining the trail of personal, private and public money that has become intertwined with the natural disaster.

The series features a cross-section of NPR journalists reporting from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, and coverage on all three NPR daily newsmagazines Morning Edition, Day to Day and All Things Considered; the daily news information program News & Notes and the daily talk show Talk of the Nation. The special series builds on NPR's ongoing commitment to coverage of the hurricane and its aftermath, which has included establishment of a bureau in New Orleans.

"This catastrophe wrecked the lives of millions and exposed huge deficiencies in our national response system," said Kevin Klose, President and Chief Executive Officer, NPR. "NPR will not leave this story nor these Americans - we will continue to report this difficult chronicle of failure, loss and hope."

NPR coverage begins on the Sunday, August 27 All Things Considered with an overview of the Gulf Coast region one year later. Coverage the following days will pursue three angles:

o August 28 - how individuals' and families' financial security has been affected.

o August 29 - rebuilding and businesses in the region, plus the role of such industries as marine clean-up, trailers and casinos.

o August 30 - federal and municipal funding: what's been spent and and what is needed?

NPR journalists contributing to the themed series include Robert Siegel, Melissa Block, Noah Adams, Steve Inskeep, John Ydstie, John Burnett, Wade Goodwyn, Pam Fessler, Julie Rovner, David Schaper, Joe Shapiro, David Greene, Howard Berkes, Daniel Zwerdling, Audie Cornish, Evie Stone, Mike Pesca, Molly Peterson, Cheryl Corley, Alex Cohen, Karen Grigsby Bates, and Joshua Levs. They are reporting from such areas as New Orleans; Gulfport, Bay St. Louis, Waveland and Hancock County, MS, and Houston, TX. will complement the broadcast coverage with extensive visual tools and graphics. Included are pre- and post-Katrina maps; a profile of New Orleans' shifting demographics; slideshows narrated by NPR journalists who covered the story, and a video version of Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep's upcoming August 11 "Day in the Life of New Orleans" report. The site will feature an interactive graphic of New Orleans' Honeysuckle Lane, a residential street repeatedly visited by All Things Considered host Robert Siegel for a series of updates and town halls. NPR correspondent Noah Adams, who blogged on during the storm and its aftermath, will return to the region and revive his blog.

Among the broadcast series' elements are:

" Robert Siegel returns for the fifth time to Honeysuckle Lane, the New Orleans street he has followed since September 28, 2005 and where he hosted a town hall in April; this time, he updates listeners on the residents who remained and those who have returned.

" The talk show Talk of the Nation will produce two one-hour town halls, with an audience, focusing on post-Katrina race relations and the status of evacuees. Neal Conan hosts.

" Other reports will examine whether smaller towns have been able to rebuild, the influx of evacuees on the finances of Houston and Baton Rouge and how the region's three casinos were able to return to business so soon after the devastation.

NPR News history of Hurricane Katrina coverage

In the immediate aftermath of Katrina, NPR established a bureau in the Gulf Region - in a former barber shop in New Orleans' Garden District. It has been staffed ever since. NPR News currently has 17 U.S. and 16 international bureaus; the 17th opens in the Fall in Kabul.

In the past 12 months, NPR programs All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition Saturday, Weekend Edition Sunday and All Things Considered Weekend have broadcast on-location from the Gulf. In February, All Things Considered devoted an entire week to live programming from the region marking the six-month anniversary of Katrina. Talk of the Nation broadcast a live two-hour show from the region on May 25.

NPR News has broken several exclusives in its reporting and investigations. Siegel's September 1 All Things Considered interview with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff about the conditions in the New Orleans Convention Center - during which NPR correspondent John Burnett called in with facts contradicting Chertoff's claims of rumors - made international headlines and was credited with accelerating Homeland Security aid to the region. A September 9 half-hour investigation on All Things Considered by Danny Zwerdling and Laura Sullivan revealed the extent of advance knowledge and viable emergency plans in place by officials for New Orleans and nearby parishes, and how that planning irrevocably broke down in the wake of the storm. Zwerdling's December 28 All Things Considered half-hour investigation into whether the levees can realistically be rebuilt to sustain future storms featured a news-making exclusive interview with Jefferson Parish's head of emergency services, Walter Maestri.

NPR has also supported the region through its music programming. The 26th annual NPR Toast of The Nation New Year's Eve concert, which moved from its traditional NPR Studio home base to Tipitina's nightclub in New Orleans, was the first live national music broadcast from the city since the hurricane. Co-produced with WBGO Jazz 88.3FM Newark, it featured a number of local musicians performing at home for the first time since Katrina. In addition, NPR and WBGO partnered to produce the worldwide radio broadcast of the landmark Jazz at Lincoln Center Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Concert on September 17.