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Saturday, August 12, 2017

New Orleans deserves a full-time New York Times correspondent

Posted By on Sat, Aug 12, 2017 at 2:53 PM

click to enlarge CREATIVE COMMONS/SAMCHILLS
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/SAMCHILLS

Earlier this year, The New York Times moved its excellent New Orleans correspondent Campbell Robertson to Pittsburgh. Robertson did us right for many years, managing both to report the news here and give it the often-complicated context it needs.

But some of the national #nolaflood coverage this week demonstrated that the city needs someone who both understands New Orleans and knows how to explain it to the outside world.

We got it today when The New York Times published a thorough, smart piece of reporting by Katy Reckdahl, which also served as an explainer about the city's pumping system for people who might conflate the levee collapses following Hurricane Katrina with last week's failures by the Sewerage & Water Board.
Down here, we still have systemic poverty, an affordable housing crisis, ongoing crime issues, a federal consent decree for the police department, infrastructure decay, school ineffectuality and inequality, a major municipal election, an incredible arts, music and food scene, and so much more that needs to be reported and explained to the rest of the nation and world.
So, New York Times: how about it? You did us right for many years with Campbell Robertson. We deserve a replacement of equal talent, not just talented stringers and freelancers. And I can't think of a better person than Reckdahl, who lives here, understands the city and is acutely aware of all the problems above, particularly how poverty informs nearly every issue in town.

Why not do yourself — and us — well and give us Katy Reckdahl full-time?

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