Panama City News Herald, Northwest Florida Daily News recognized for Hurricane Michael coverage
As Florida Panhandle residents continue to deal with the destruction caused by Hurricane Michael, local newsrooms are making sure that readers, watchers and listeners remain informed even when power and communication grids are down.
Reporters at the Panama City News Herald and the Northwest Florida Daily News, as well as those from local television stations, were recently recognized in a CNN story for their use of social media channels to keep audiences up to date on the situation in Panama City.
Daily News reporter Annie Blanks tweeted that her colleagues at the News Herald were still putting out a newspaper despite the damage to their newsrooms and homes and lack of electricity and consistent cellular service.
In an email, Pat Dorsey, regional vice president for GateHouse's Coastal Publishing Group, explained that though communication was difficult due to lack of phone service, newsrooms were able to coordinate the printing of papers at an alternative press in Montgomery. "There was only one cell phone that would work as all the towers were down, electricity out, etc. Nobody is sure why that phone worked and it could only call out of market, not within. They passed it around and used it to keep us update and help coordinate support."