NY producer's perspective on Ike coverage

September 20, 2008 3:47:10 PM PDT
WABC-TV producer Jamie Nguyen reflects on her trip to Houston. It's been 24 hours since I left a hurricane zone. For the first time in 5 days, I slept in my own bed and had a nice long hot shower. Running water and electricty two modern day convienences that I have a new appreciation for since returning from Ike ravaged Texas.

New York City is a long way from Houston and Galveston. We are a long way from the misery and suffering. The people wondering about the status of their homes. Wondering how they are going to go on with their lives. Will they rebuild? How will they start over? Their lives forever changed by a force well beyond their control.

Just a week ago, people were going on with their lives, bracing for Ike's arrival. The big one has arrived and forever changed their lives. But the one thing I will never forget is the spirit of the people. Their willinginess to help each other, from friends to neighbors to perfect strangers. Small acts of kindness are taking place. A shoulder to cry on. A hug. A drink of water. A roof. Ice and something to eat, even when there is not much. These are the images of the Gulf Coast that I will remember.

I will remember my colleagues at KTRK who put on 116 hours of continuing live coverage to keep their community informed, telling stories, and demanding aid and answers for people who really need it. I am moved by those who worked tirelessly in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Each had their own Ike troubles to deal with, but they put them aside to keep viewers informed. It is a stark reminder of why most of us became journalists and the power of television.

So this weekend, as you go about your business just take a moment to appreciate where you are because in an instant everything can change. Remember the woman who was frantic because she had not heard from her son since before the storm. The person who lost their family business or the only home they ever knew.


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