Monday, August 31, 2009

The $400,000 story

I haven't finished reading this story yet, but so far it is amazing.

The story details what went down at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans after Katrina hit. Since I haven't finished it, I can't really talk about the storytelling. But here's a conversation starter: It cost an estimated $400,000 to do this story. Part of it was funded by ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom. Part of the deal is that anyone can publish it after Sept. 29 for free. (Including us!)

The reporter starting doing the story on her own time, got a fellowship and then continued her work on it after taking a job with ProPublica.

What do you think about the price tag and the story? Looking forward, do you think non-profits are going to be the only entities capable of producing this kind of work?

Here's a video of the author talking about the importance of this story and why she reported it.

P.S. If anyone prefers to read hard copies rather than online, let me know. I can lend you my copy of the NYT Sunday magazine after I finish reading it. (But be warned if you haven't picked up a copy lately: The mag is tiny now. I actually have a hard time finding it in the Sunday paper. Another sign of the times.)