OLD Media Moves

From the Mobile Register biz editor

September 1, 2005

I received this e-mail from K.A. Turner, the business editor in Mobile, just a couple of minutes ago. I thought I’d share what she said about the paper’s coverage related to the hurricane:

I’m good, and we’re getting more toward normal at the paper. We lost power here for a couple of days, but are printing here now.

We’ve got people here who lost homes or had them damaged, but most everyone in Mobile looks west and gets real thankful.

As far as coverage:

We talked some in advance of the storm about the oil infrastructure here; unfortunately the things we warned about the nation is now dealing with. We continue to follow that issue at a couple of levels — people on the street in gas lines; what can we expect near-term re distribution in our immediate two-county or southern Alabama area; then another look at the region’s place in the supply chain.

Most of our local coverage yesterday, today and likely tomorrow is geared to trying to answer the pressing questions of readers tomorrow. When will be power be back? When do the phones return? Where do I get gas? When will McDonalds open?

We’ve got a guy in Washington looking at employment issues re Northrop Grumman; big military shipbuilder in Pascagoula/New Orleans that employs more than 12,000; about 2,500 from this area.

We took a look yesterday at fears that there won’t be enough construction workers to rebuild. We hope to look by the weekend at the national calamity coming because the ports aren’t running (don’t know what Wal-Mart will do without its regular China fix) and at how much population shift we might expect as refugees resettle.

Had a story in today’s paper about a group of fishermen who got chased out of Mississippi, landed in Brewton just north of here and have decided they’re going to try to stay there.

One other thing we’ll work on asap is the growing notion among insurers that this is likely to bankrupt the national flood insurance program, unless the taxpayers bail it out, and what that means for us. We’ve been covering pretty consistently insurance issues ever since one of the state’s largestinsurers began a major series of non-renewals following Ivan.

Insurance right now is a mess down here. Apparently there’s almost no reinsurance available, and the major global players in that business aren’t looking too kindly at the area.

It’s wild.

Got ideas for me???

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