Coast Journalist's Get Ready For 2006 Hurricane Season

Journalists gathered Thursday night at the Imperial Palace for the Associated Press Managing Editors group for Louisiana and Mississippi's annual meeting.

They spoke about covering the worst natural disaster in our nation's history, and the dreaded hurricane season swiftly approaching.

"The average person in Mississippi would tell you that Mississippi did not get a fare shake in this storm," said WLOX Station Manager/News Director Dave Vincent.

"The view in New Orleans is that New Orleans got the publicity and Mississippi got the money," said Peter Kovacs of the Times-Picayune.

Among the distinguished members on the panel was photojournalist Drew Tarter of the Sun Herald. He like many other journalists who covered Katrina, could not believe his eyes when he saw the devastation for the first time.

"Seeing the President Casino barge washed on top of the hotel on Hwy 90. I had a hard time the first day figuring out where I was.It was just disturbing and surreal to see something that huge on land where you knew it was not suppose to be," said Tarter.

The only thing Tarter was certain of was his duty to get vital information out to the public.

"People needed to know where to go to get food, medical care, anything. It was a tremendous responsibility that we took very seriously," said Tarter.

Many journalists went through their own personal tragedies. But they knew stories had to be told.

The Associated Press editors meeting allowed these journalists to reflect on the past, and get ready for the future.