CNN announced its Katrina Anniversary coverage plans this afternoon…
As the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, CNN maintains its ongoing coverage of recovery and rebuilding efforts across the Gulf Coast as well as its investigations to keep officials at all levels accountable for their roles in the disaster.
“Because we never left the Gulf Coast, this anniversary allows us to showcase our depth of coverage over the past year,” said Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S. “Our bureau staff members are Gulf Coast residents, so they’re plugged into the story of Katrina’s aftermath on a deep level and able to work sources to unearth hard-hitting, in-depth reports.”
For the anniversary itself, CNN/U.S. will originate several of its programs, including Anderson Cooper 360° and American Morning, from the area. CNN will continue to solicit user-generated content for I-Reports – compelling video, audio or text approved for use on-air – and CNN Exchange – CNN.com’s destination for user-submitted content, as well as guest commentaries and polls.
Long after the storm hit the coast on Aug. 29, 2005, CNN continued extensive coverage, providing more than 500 reports and updates and several documentaries. CNN opened its Gulf Coast bureau within weeks of Katrina making landfall. In June of this year, the bureau moved into a permanent location in downtown New Orleans and now serves as a fully functional hub for nine correspondents, photojournalists and a production crew as well as a new Gulf satellite truck and a studio outfitted for live reports.
Such dedicated journalism continues for the one-year anniversary as CNN’s Anderson Cooper will anchor Anderson Cooper 360° from New Orleans for Monday, Aug. 28, and Tuesday, Aug. 29. During Katrina and its immediate aftermath, Cooper reported from across the Gulf Coast region for five straight weeks. Since then, he has returned to the region 22 times. Anderson Cooper 360° airs weekdays from 10 p.m. to midnight. (ET)
For the “Keeping Them Honest” segment of Anderson Cooper 360°, Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s senior medical correspondent, returns to New Orleans to take the city’s health care pulse. Nearly one year after debunking official reports that the city’s Charity Hospital had been properly evacuated, Gupta finds the hospital closed with a down-sized version operating out of a former department store. He also reveals glaring gaps in health care and coordination among other providers in the city.
CNN’s reports will also highlight the bright spots amid the disaster and include updates from the network’s New Orleans-based correspondents Sean Callebs and Susan Roesgen. Callebs profiles Coast Guard personnel who stepped beyond the call of duty to rescue stranded residents across the Gulf Coast. Roesgen provides an update on a neo-natal unit forced to evacuate after Katrina and several of the premature babies born at that time.
Larry King will host a special edition of Larry King Live on Tuesday, Aug. 29, with guests Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and musician Aaron Neville, who will perform during the program. Larry King Live airs each day from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. (ET)
Soledad O’Brien and Miles O’Brien, who both provided memorable reports from along the Gulf Coast soon after Katrina made landfall, will return to New Orleans. Miles O’Brien visits the city in the days before the anniversary to prepare a report on the state of the city’s levees. On Tuesday, Aug. 29, American Morning will originate from New Orleans with Soledad O’Brien anchoring from New Orleans and with Miles O’Brien in New York. American Morning airs each weekday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. (ET)
The Situation Room, anchored by Wolf Blitzer, also plans to mark the first year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina providing comprehensive reports throughout the Gulf Coast region. The three-hour program, which launched just weeks prior to the historic storm, will make use of its multiple feeds and video wall to bring viewers key interviews from across the region. The Situation Room airs weekdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and again from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. (ET)
Online, CNN.com will provide continuing updates to its on-going Hurricane Katrina special report, located at http://www.CNN.com/katrina. The special report includes articles about the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities a year later; an audio slide show called “Voices from the Gulf Coast”; an interactive map detailing reconstruction and renovations of key landmarks across the coast; vital signs charts with the most current indicators for education, health care, population and other statistics for the area; and numerous video and image galleries.
CNN Pipeline also will feature live coverage of events taking place throughout the region, as well as reports on the progress of rebuilding efforts one year after Katrina made landfall. To provide users with access to as much information as possible, CNN Pipeline also has made available hundreds of on-demand video packages related to Katrina, beginning with the initial weather reports as the storm gained strength in the Gulf to recent packages from CNN Gulf Coast correspondents on rebuilding and recovery efforts.
In addition, CNN.com will solicit “I-Reports,” user-generated text, images, audio and video, for possible use on-air and inclusion on CNN Exchange, a comprehensive user-generated content destination on CNN.com that features user-submitted audio, video and text and also allows users to interact directly with the site’s news reports, commentaries and polls. Viewers can submit material through a “Send Your I-Report” link at CNN.com or by e-mail at email@example.com.
For Headline News, anchor Thomas Roberts returns to New Orleans to report live on Tuesday, Aug. 29. CNN’s Katrina coverage will reach a global audience through reports on CNN International and CNN en Español.
For its affiliates, CNNRadio plans to provide everything they need for their coverage, including an archive of sound from its coverage of Katrina last year. An hour of special programming hosted by Headline News anchor Chuck Roberts becomes available as a podcast on Monday, Aug. 21. CNNRadio’s Amanda Moyer will be reporting live from New Orleans for the network and affiliates on Monday, Aug. 28, and Tuesday, Aug. 29.
CNN Newsource correspondents Brianna Keilar and Kyung Lah will be available for affiliates from Louisiana and Mississippi.