AAN News

AAN Creates House Ads for Gambit Relief Fund

Twenty-five of the 43 AAN publishers who responded to a survey on Friday afternoon said they were interested in running house ads promoting the Gambit Relief Fund. So AAN asked Katherine Topaz of Topaz Design to create a quarter-page vertical ad (the size preferred by 78 percent of the respondents) that could be easily adapted by AAN members for use in their own papers. Kat ended up designing three of them, and they are now available for download from this page in the AAN Resource Library. An even larger majority of respondents said they were interested in running ads directing reader contributions to general Katrina-relief organizations sanctioned by AAN, so another set of quarter-page ads will be created once the association identifies general relief funds that make sense for its members.
09-13-2005  5:01 pm  |  Industry News

Gambit Staffer Thanks AAN Members for Relief Fund

Every Gambit Weekly staff member we've communicated with since the Gambit Relief Fund was announced has offered their heartfelt appreciation, but we were especially touched by this message we received last week from special sections editor Kandace Power Graves, who has relocated to Northwest Arkansas with her two children.
09-13-2005  4:08 pm  |  Industry News

AAN Commissions Weekly Series by Gambit Editor

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. (FULL STORY)
09-13-2005  1:03 pm  |  Association News

First Relief Payments Wired to Gambit Staffers

Forty-nine employees of the besieged New Orleans paper will each receive an initial gift of $1,000 this week from AAN's Gambit Relief Fund. Although the Fund has already collected over $52,000 in contributions, AAN will continue to seek additional financial assistance for Gambit staffers, with the goal of raising enough money to help them through the next two or three months. New Times and Village Voice employees, whose parent companies have both aggressively promoted a matching-funds program, make up a large percentage of the individual contributions received in the first week since the fund was announced. (FULL STORY)
09-12-2005  1:03 pm  |  Association News

Gambit Staffer: Thank You For Relief Fund

Kandace Power Graves  |  09-12-2005  8:57 pm  |  Letters to the Editor

Gambit Staffer Describes Her Ordeal in New Orleans Hospitalnew

When the order to evacuate came, Gambit Weekly staff writer Katy Reckdahl had to decide which would be worse: staying in New Orleans for the storm or delivering her first child in a car on the evacuation route. She stayed. Here is her account of her son's first days at Touro Infirmary and her family's eventual escape from the city.
City Pages (Twin Cities)  |  09-09-2005  3:21 pm  |  Industry News

AAN Hires Gambit Weekly Managing Editor

Shala Carlson will take over as the association's assistant editor next week, replacing Ryan Learmouth, whose last day at AAN is this Friday. Carlson has worked for the New Orleans alt-weekly since 1998, and before that served stints as an editor at the Times of Acadiana in Lafayette, La., and an administrator for a Louisiana-based nonprofit organization. She has been living with her parents in Opelousas, La., since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast last weekend. (FULL STORY)
AAN Staff  |  09-07-2005  7:05 am  |  Association News

Michael Tisserand Interviewed on Australian Radio

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.
09-06-2005  6:55 pm  |  Industry News

Gambit Co-Owners Clancy and Margo DuBos Thank AAN Members

Late Friday evening, after an exhilarating day in which he participated in a nautical search-and-rescue mission, Gambit Communications co-owner Clancy DuBos spoke with AAN Executive Director Richard Karpel and learned that the AAN relief effort had been announced earlier that day. He then sent the following message via e-mail: "Since Katrina struck, we have been overwhelmed by the enormity of the destruction left in its wake. We are even more overwhelmed by the outpouring of assistance and generosity from our fellow AAN members. This is the highest calling of our organization -- making a real difference in the lives of others -- and proof of what a great group of professionals belong to AAN. We will never forget you. God bless you all."
09-02-2005  9:24 pm  |  Industry News

Forums Available: Tracking Gambit Staffers, Talking Strategynew

Since the scope of the devastation from Hurricane Katrina first became apparent, Association of Alternative Newsweeklies members have been steadily contacting the association's home office with offers of assistance -- financial and otherwise -- for their colleagues at Gambit Weekly. To facilitate the process of getting the paper's displaced employees the help they need, we must first track them down. To that end, AAN has set up a message board where Gambit staffers (and those who have been in contact with Gambit staffers) can post contact information as well as discuss the storm's tragic aftermath.
AAN  |  09-02-2005  4:59 pm  | 

AAN Articles Predicted FEMA Disaster

As FEMA stumbles in response to Hurricane Katrina, it's instructive to re-read a couple of articles published in AAN papers eleven months ago. In the first -- a story sponsored by AAN and published in over 20 of its members' papers -- Jon Elliston and the Independent Weekly reported the Bush Administration was shifting FEMA resources from protection from hurricanes and other natural hazards to homeland security. Disaster in the Making was published as FEMA was preparing for Hurricane Frances, only three weeks after their bang-up performance on Hurricane Charley. "They're doing a good job," one former FEMA executive told Elliston. "And the reason ... is because it's so close to the election, and they can't fuck it up, otherwise they lose Florida -- and if they lose Florida, they might lose the election."

In Homeland Insecurity (which was reported and published in conjunction with Disaster in the Making), Eileen Loh Harrist and Gambit Weekly reported that FEMA snubbed Louisiana and violated its own funding standards when it failed to provide the state with badly-needed Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) funds to protect it from flooding. According to Loh Harrist, "the nearly $60 million pot of federal PDM money went to 31 other states and Puerto Rico. Texas received the biggest share, more than $8.8 million, followed by California ($6.1 million) and Florida ($5.3 million)."
09-01-2005  10:34 pm  |  Industry News

What It's Like to Be a Refugeenew

"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.
AltWeeklies.com  |  08-31-2005  5:57 pm  |  Industry News

More from Gambit Weekly

We spoke this morning with Margo DuBos, who owns the New Orleans paper along with her husband, Clancy. Margo reports that she is safe with her family on dry land in a small town in Louisiana called New Roads. She believes that all of her employees are safe as well. She doesn't expect to be able to publish the paper again for at least the remainder of this year, but she remains optimistic that the city and paper will eventually recover. Although Gambit Weekly's office, which sits at the "bottom of the bowl" in mid-city, is most likely under water, the main computer servers that run the business were moved to safe ground before the storm hit. Clancy DuBos is traveling to Baton Rouge today to see if he can set up a satellite office in the capital to begin publishing the paper on the Web. AAN has received many inquiries from members who are interested in helping the paper. Rest assured that we will be working with Margo to determine how the association can most effectively direct our members' philanthropic urges.
08-31-2005  1:15 pm  |  Industry News

What's Going on With Gambit Weekly?

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.
08-30-2005  12:40 am  |  Industry News