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Hell and High Water: The Battle to Save the Daily New Orleans Times-Picayune

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Overview

“With probing research and righteous passion, Rebecca Theim chronicles the demise of the daily Times-Picayune, a newspaper once beloved by New Orleanians for its heroic coverage of Hurricane Katrina.”
—Jason Berry, author, director, and investigative reporter

“[A]n intensely observed, deeply reported microcosm of the worldwide devastation that has enveloped print journalism.”
—Henry Kisor, author and retired book editor of the Chicago ...

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Hell and High Water: The Battle to Save the Daily New Orleans Times-Picayune

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Overview

“With probing research and righteous passion, Rebecca Theim chronicles the demise of the daily Times-Picayune, a newspaper once beloved by New Orleanians for its heroic coverage of Hurricane Katrina.”
—Jason Berry, author, director, and investigative reporter

“[A]n intensely observed, deeply reported microcosm of the worldwide devastation that has enveloped print journalism.”
—Henry Kisor, author and retired book editor of the Chicago Sun-Times

“[A] data-rich case study wrapped around a moving human drama . . . Anyone who cares about the future of news media needs to read this clear-eyed book.”
—Jed Horne, former metro editor of the New Orleans Times-Picayune and author of Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City

“This book vividly portrays the lives of the journalists caught in a battle to save their city's beloved newspaper only a few years after Hurricane Katrina nearly destroyed it.”
—Thomas Maier, author of Newhouse: All the Glitter, Power, & Glory of America's Richest Media Empire & the Secretive Man Behind It

“This is an important story, not just about the specifics of a 175-year-old newspaper's struggle to survive and the steps and missteps taken by its owner . . . but about the broader issues of strategy and the role of a daily newspaper in the life of a community . . . and what consumers should expect to pay for independent quality reporting.”
—Christie Hefner, board of directors of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and former CEO of Playboy Enterprises

In May 2012, the New York Times broke the story that the Pulitzer Prize-winning New Orleans Times-Picayune would become a three-day-a-week publication, laying off hundreds of employees and shifting its focus to its unpopular website. Despite sustained community outcry, the newspaper's owner refused to relent and used this same template to remake other papers nationwide. Drawing upon nearly one hundred interviews and thousands of pages of industry documents, author Rebecca Theim, a former Times-Picayune staff writer, chronicles this dark yet fascinating chapter of the troubled print-newspaper industry.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455618811
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/30/2013
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 820,862
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Rebecca Theim is the founder of dashTHIRTYdash, a nonprofit dedicated to the aid of laid-off Times-Picayune employees. Theim earned her bachelor's degree in journalism and master's degree in marketing communications from Northwestern University and a second master's degree in journalism from Ohio State University. Theim worked at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the New Orleans Times-Picayune before working in corporate marketing and public relations. Her work has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Chicago Tribune, Forbes.com, Portfolio.com, BusinessInsider.com, The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, and The Christian Science Monitor. She lives with her family in suburban Las Vegas.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2014

    Nick

    Well.... *daily life time* only result

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2014

    Sky

    "K"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    Rebecca's Theim's HELL AND HIGH WATER is a knockout! Wonderfully

    Rebecca's Theim's HELL AND HIGH WATER is a knockout! Wonderfully written, its smart, fresh totally readable, informative and also entertaining prose takes the reader on a journey into the heart of the issue that the U.S. newspaper industry is confronting today--that is, will that industry, as print journalism, as we have known it, even survive? Ms Theim, traces the story of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, a nationally revered and locally loved daily newspaper, winner of many awards in recognition of its superior reporting, as it systematically begins to be transformed from the force it once was, to a struggling shell of itself, a several times a week web edition. This is the story of that fight, with many of the papers employees joining in, along with members of the community, in support of more than a newspaper, but a local institution that saw the citizens of New Orleans through Hurricane Katrina, among other events. Along the way, Ms.Theim gives us a real flavor of this amazing city, as well as the personalities that thread their way through this tale. And more than anything else, she gives us something very important to think about, and that is, what DO we want for our newspaper industry in this country? How DO we want our information to be delivered to us, and how do we safeguard, indeed, that we get that information, fully and unimpeded.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    Rebecca Theim, a reporting colleague when I held a staff writing

    Rebecca Theim, a reporting colleague when I held a staff writing position at The Times-Picayune, clearly takes up the cause of journalists and others impacted in draconian ways by the TP's wholesale move to digital. This is not a detached, objective treatment; it is passionate and intensely critical of a powerful media family and organization. That said, there is no doubt that Becky's work raises important questions, brings out the human dimension and promises to become a valuable reference point in the history of American journalism. Whatever your view of the digital revolution, this is a must read for any one concerned about the quality of journalism, its impact on our communities, and prospects for the next generation of writers, editors and photographers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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