Community Coverage

Friday, November 02, 2012

Margaret Maynard Stranded Resident of the La Guardia House on the Lower East Side Catches Up Post-Sandy with WNYC’s Marianne McCune

On Monday night, millions of people in the New York region were left in the dark as Superstorm Sandy showed us the full force of her fury.  For many of these people, their only lifeline to the world outside their homes and their own experience was a radio -- underscoring the medium’s enduring value in a digital world.  It's been our privilege and honor at WNYC, WQXR and New Jersey Public Radio (NJPR) to be on the other side of that radio.  

This week our AM transmitter was flooded, our service at some of our New Jersey stations has been disrupted, restored and disrupted again.  We’ve managed to stay on the air on WNYC-FM and WQXR-FM, and online the whole time by operating on generator power, sheer determination and a whole lot of support and information from our community of listeners.

In moments like this, it takes a community. We rely on crowdsourced reporting that combines the full efforts of our professional news team with eyewitness reports and conversation with our audience.  We go out into our community, we open up our phone lines and we reach out to those with power via social media and our digital platforms.  

We ask our audience to become primary sources, to tell us what they are seeing, how they are coping and what they are feeling.  We try to create a sense of family on the air and online, as we convey the news and information that is needed in times of crisis.  We’ve also used new technology to reach and serve our community better with data rich resources like storm trackers, evacuation maps, flood maps and transit trackers.  We put these things out there and update them as things change and as our community of reporters and listeners “report in with updates.”  We say what we know; we say what we don't know; and we do a lot of listening and sharing. 

Today, The Brian Lehrer Show spoke with Karen in Edgewater, NJ.  She called in from her powerless high rise apartment. She was twenty one floors up and in search of a connection to the outside world.   Our reporters are  listening to people like Karen across the region. They are hearing the frustration in Hoboken, the loss in Queens and the relief in Park Slope.  Reporter Anna Sale was in Newark talking with residents waiting hours on gas lines; reporter Beth Fertig has been downtown speaking to small business owners about the challenges of getting back to business; and reporter Marianne McCune connected a stranded senior citizen, Margaret Maynard, with her best friend in Harlem using the power of a charged cell phone.  We heard their reunion on the air.   Marianne was the first person to knock on Margaret’s door in the La Guardia House on the Lower East Side after the storm.  Margaret was happy for the house call.

Over the past few days, we've also been working with other public radio broadcasters around the country to provide news from our region and to make sure these stories are heard far and wide.  We are relying on these other public broadcasters for editorial, logistical and moral support too. 

We're coming together as a community, sharing information, stories and our own experiences to inform and to facilitate conversations about the immediate concerns and the larger issues at play.  After this storm, I can unequivocally say being a part of a community is EVERYTHING and I am so glad to be a part of this one.  

If you would like to volunteer to help victims of Sandy, here's how.

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Comments [3]

Richard Rivera from PR

It's been over 10 years now since I was thrown out of WNYC and I still respect and admire all the work you guys do in Public Radio. I started working at WNYC when the organitation/comittee had TV and for over 10 years I worked with Honor and Respected all the people I served. Proudly I can say God and the Karma in the World took its course and treats those that were treated injust with glory and confort. Keep doing the excelent work that has keept WNYC in the stand that is Today. From PR = Puerto Rico, you admiror.
Richard Rivera


Jan. 11 2013 02:38 PM

With perfect timing for "Sandy" I have obtained the attention and action of Congress after exposing the FEMA and disaster poisonings of Hurricane Katrina.
The GAO (on Wednesday 24 Oct 2012) added to the legitimacy of my findings (in forensic and living pathology). And now with Hurricane "Sandy" I have already been advising those State (the others) Emergency Responders and Health Directors to reduce the rate of injuries and deaths that were unnecessarily experienced in the Gulf communities after Katrina
See that GAO report (linked below) and my expansion on it which (by implication and petition for correction of bureaucratic and medical malfeasance) will now benefit the people in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, if respected and acted upon). This is linked and discussed (along with the CDC, HHS, HUD (FEMA) 2011 published "Safety and Health in Mfd. Structures" [including their "Katrina" victim killing FEMA trailers] with their cloaked admission of their life-threatening code violations) on my website
-- beginning with this current posting copied to this email here:

■ HUD and FEMA's "License to kill" code violations presenting Carbon Monoxide (CO & H2CO+VOC fumes) poisoning!
■ NFPA, CPSC, HHS and Medicine's allowance for all other Carbon Monoxide poisonings in their diagnostic deficiencies and failures!
■ Hurricane Sandy victims or survivors are at highest poisoning risk!

Notice and Warning:
Hurricane Sandy Victims and Survivors, Emergency and First Responder Professionals and Medical Providers:
A common natural disaster aftermath Poisoning problem, disclosed here, which was experienced by Hurricane Katrina's disrupted, displaced, injury and mortality victims and survivors, is now your critical and prevalent risk in the aftermath of your own Hurricane "Sandy" devastation!
As you will see in this website, which was initiated early in 2008, millions of others (even without Katrina) of our most humble members in America's society, have been and are currently affected by this same poisoning risk which you are potential now subjected to as well.
Please finish reading this lifesaving information on

Thomas L Rodgers

Nov. 12 2012 02:37 PM
Mikz1 from NYC

A small nuisance: the NYS dmv Manhattan offices (both: north and south) were still closed on November 2. This was not advertised on the DMV website, telephone line or otherwise. Both offices apparently had power. NYC employees, conversely, were asked to go back to work as best as they could. While this is a small nuisance, it can be seen in several ways, all negative...

Nov. 03 2012 12:10 PM

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About In Public: Essays from Laura Walker, President of New York Public Radio

Essays from Laura Walker, President of New York Public Radio


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