Michael Perlstein ’84 is a 20-year veteran courts-and-cops reporter at the New Orleans Times-Picayune. As Hurricane Katrina approached last August, his wife and three young children evacuated. But Perlstein stayed behind to report on the storm and its aftermath.
Robert Smith ’89 has been a public radio reporter since graduating from Reed, and joined National Public Radio as a correspondent in 2000. He was sent to the Gulf Coast within days of Katrina’s landfall and returned to his beat as New York bureau chief five weeks after the storm.
Reed magazine asked Perlstein and Smith to reflect on the challenges they faced covering the most devastating and costly natural disaster in U.S. history.