WASHINGTON (Sept. 19, 2005)–National Geographic Editor in Chief Chris Johns announced today that the magazine will publish a special edition, “Katrina,” on the hurricane and its aftermath. This issue — the most accelerated that National Geographic has ever published — will reach newsstands throughout the United States this Friday, Sept. 23. To create this comprehensive record, National Geographic formed unique media partnerships with The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, The Dallas Morning News, Austin American-Statesman, The New York Times, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Reuters, Getty Images and Knight Ridder/Tribune, which each agreed to donate images and their reporting to the effort. The entire net proceeds of “Katrina” will benefit hurricane victims.
“This 102-page special issue was made possible by the outstanding work of the magazine’s staff writers, editors, researchers and picture editors as well as the generous collaboration of our journalistic and production partners, and we expect it to be the definitive source on Katrina for readers across the nation and the world,” said Johns. “Adding insight and understanding to this disaster is our way of being of service to those who were most directly impacted by the storm. I want to thank our partners, who understood what National Geographic had to offer and trusted us to distill all the information and jointly publish the amazing stories and images.”
Traditionally, National Geographic story development takes between six months and two years. But with “Katrina,” the magazine’s editors decided to do something completely different. Drawing on a depth of expertise extending back to 1927’s Mississippi flood, National Geographic was able to test the capacity of its editorial system, publishing in only two weeks. This was made possible through its editorial alliances and printing and paper suppliers, who contributed the resources necessary to create this publication with critical speed and at a discounted rate. “Katrina” is being published in addition to the magazine’s regularly scheduled monthly issues.
“Katrina” tells the story of the most destructive storm ever to hit the Gulf Coast, primarily using powerful images (some never before published), supported by human stories and National Geographic’s signature maps and graphics. The magazine puts forth an important record of the how and why behind the what of the hurricane. “Katrina” builds upon the predictions made in Joel K. Bourne Jr.’s article, “Gone with the Water” (National Geographic, October 2004), which was eerily prescient in its scientific examination of the likelihood of a hurricane hitting New Orleans, and questioned the ability of the floodwalls and levees to withstand flood.
Less than a year later, as Katrina approached New Orleans, National Geographic assigned New Orleans native and well-known hurricane photographer Tyrone Turner to cover the storm. Turner’s documentation of events and the extraordinary coverage of the many courageous reporters and photographers on the ground in the strike zone are the heart of the “Katrina” issue.
National Geographic’s “Katrina” special edition, which carries no advertising, is priced at $4.95 and is available only on newsstands.