For Rebuilding the Catskills, the Fund for Local News has chosen to partner with the Watershed Post due to:
- The Watershed Post’s remarkable commitment to of coverage during the disaster.
- The level of collaboration Julia and Lissa achieved with other community media including public radio stations WIOX and WGXC.
- The Watershed Post’s solid ongoing track record of community-connecting news coverage before and after the disaster.
While the Catskills won’t soon forget the fury of Hurricane Irene, many will also remember how they found crucial and sometimes life-saving information on the live coverage blog at watershedpost.com.
Plunged into disaster coverage, the two-woman team of Julia Reischel and Lissa Harris achieved with their 18-month old online newspaper what many old, established and better staffed media outlets could not. Because of their already-strong ties to the Catskills Watershed communities, they had help from paid and volunteer staff and from citizens throughout the storm-ravaged region. The result was coverage that kept people connected even as the floods did their best to isolate families, communities and entire towns.
The Watershed Post was formed to help fill the news and information void that was left when traditional news outlets closed down. If not for the Watershed Post, the Catskills would continue to be the news desert that Lissa and Julia found here in 2009. They continue this work today as the region seeks to rebuild.