THIS EXHIBIT IS NOW CLOSED.
To mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the most destructive hurricane in U.S. history, the Newseum opens the new exhibit "Covering Katrina" on Aug. 27, 2010.
The exhibit chronicles the dramatic tale of the media's reporting of the killer storm that shredded Mississippi's coast, left 80 percent of New Orleans under water and resulted in the deaths of 1,800 people. "Covering Katrina" examines the national media's role in shining a spotlight on the horrific conditions facing residents and the difficulties in getting assistance into the ravaged region.
Two local newspapers — The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and the Sun Herald of Biloxi and Gulfport, Miss. — were literally in the path of the storm. The exhibit tells the story of how these newspapers overcame daunting and dangerous challenges to provide crucial information to their isolated communities.
Never-before-displayed artifacts illustrate the professional challenges and personal losses reporters suffered covering the storm and the sometimes perilous conditions they faced.
- A wall map that hung in the offices of the Sun Herald with pins representing locations of the confirmed dead in southern Mississippi.
- A kayak used by a Times-Picayune photographer to navigate the flooded streets of New Orleans.
- An anti-looter sign from a New Orleans rug shop that was used as a backdrop for network news reporters.
- A plywood rescue sign from the wrecked home of two Sun Herald reporters in Biloxi.
"Covering Katrina" also includes an original Newseum-produced video that features dramatic footage of storm coverage along with vivid and often emotional first-person accounts from newspaper editors and TV journalists who balanced objective reporting with their own personal frustrations.