Michael Tisserand (pictured at left, with family) this week launched a series of weekly columns available to all AAN-member papers that will focus on the evacuee experience in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. "Although the voice of these pieces will be personal," says Tisserand, "this is going to be a heavily reported column seeking to give specific voice to the general evacuee population." The 2,000-word columns will be available free of charge each Monday to member papers for use in their pages or on their Web sites.

Continue ReadingAAN Commissions Weekly Series by Gambit Editor

The Gambit Weekly editor was one of three American guests on Late Night Live, an ABC Radio National program broadcast from Australia. He gives an account of his own family's evacuation from New Orleans and discusses the far more difficult plight of the city's poor. He also describes AAN's efforts to cover the issues raised by the catastrophe. You can download the September 5 program on Hurricane Katrina from this page.

Continue ReadingMichael Tisserand Interviewed on Australian Radio

"New Orleans is gone and I can’t say when it will come back," writes Gambit Weekly editor Michael Tisserand, encamped with his family (pictured) at a friend's home near Lafayette. Tisserand describes what it feels like after the floodwaters have washed away your home, your job, and your city, and you don't know whether they're ever coming back.

Continue ReadingWhat It’s Like to Be a Refugee

A lot of people in AAN are asking that question this evening as reports of flooding and chaos in New Orleans fill the news. Unfortunately, there is no good answer as communication along the Gulf Coast has been crippled in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. But one thing is clear: It will be weeks, if not months, before the paper is back on its feet again. Fortunately, we have learned the whereabouts of at least three Gambit staffers. Editor Michael Tisserand, managing editor Shala Carlson, and arts and entertainment editor David Lee Simmons, and their families, are all staying with friends 130 miles west in Lafayette. Tisserand has agreed to write something for AAN about his experience. We hope to be able to post it on both of our Web sites tomorrow afternoon.

Continue ReadingWhat’s Going on With Gambit Weekly?

Readers of Gambit Weekly, New Times Broward-Palm Beach, Miami New Times, Weekly Planet (Tampa), Weekly Planet (Sarasota), Folio Weekly and Orlando Weekly have lately seen Mother Nature at her worst. Distributed in areas affected by the hurricanes that have pounded Florida and surrounding states since August, these alt-weeklies have come out on schedule -- thanks to determined staffers and contingency plans.

Continue ReadingIn Harm’s Way, Alt-Weeklies Weather Hurricanes