09/05 - NOW’s “Katrina: The Response”

What were the shortcomings in dealing with the aftermath of Katrina?

The program topic for September's edition of Louisiana Public Square was to have been "Coastal Erosion." The tragic events surrounding Katrina prove that the subject was timely, but the storm and its aftermath, for the time being, overshadow all other discussions. This month, Louisiana Public Square will devote its airtime to the re-broadcast of the NOW special entitled "Katrinia: The Response."

The acclaimed weekly newsmagazine NOW on PBS is devoting all if its programs in September to covering Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, and is teaming up with LPB to produce a special one-hour forum broadcast on September 16, entitled "Katrina: The Response." That program, which will be taped at the LPB studio in Baton Rouge, will gather an audience of citizens, experts and officials to concentrate on the rapid response failure and the challenges ahead. The town-hall meeting will be moderated by NOW's host David Brancaccio.

"In the 24-hour coverage of events on the ground, our goal is to provide our audience with an alternative," says Brancaccio. "We're going to be looking analytically at the tough issues: the shortcomings in the emergency response; how our public policy fell short; and the ethical questions raised from the looting and disorder that have followed this disaster. We want to know what the people and the experts closest to this tragedy can tell us about what happened and why." NOW's special coverage is part of public broadcasting's immediate and long-term plans to respond to these tragic events, which include special programming across the schedule.

NOW, which is hosted by David Brancaccio, airs Friday nights at 7:30 p.m. on PBS and is a production of JumpStart Productions, LLC in association with Thirteen/WNET New York.

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