Katrina: “Turning Over Rocks & Piecing Together Clues In An Empty Town”

By Brian 

NBC News producer Marisa Buchanan‘s Daily Nightly blog entry is a great dispatch from New Orleans. She says the Sheraton’s Starbucks has reopened, but “life here is anything but normal. I still brush my teeth with bottled water, and I’m still stopped after dark and asked where I am going.”

She describes the journalistic challenges: “The kind of investigative reporting I’ve been doing down here feels different, too, partly because the people you are tracking down are displaced everywhere. I’ve gone to buildings and addresses to get clues on how to reach people. Random conversations with locals lead me to someone or somewhere else. And because of the communication problem, I never know if I can reach them on the phone or see them ever again. I had more than one TV crew with me remark that they liked going out on these excursions. It was challenging. We were turning over rocks and piecing together clues in an empty town that is rightfully preoccupied with saving itself.”

> Also:In one area of St. Bernard parish, the mud being cleared down a street was the exact same picture I saw in a residential area of Banda Aceh, Indonesia after the tsunami. My photographs from now and from January resemble each other: a lost shoe, an abandoned bicycle, a personal story trapped in the mud.”