Spectrum to spotlight newspaper’s Matthew coverage

By: Staff Report

LUMBERTON — The Robesonian newspaper and its effort to inform local residents following Hurricane Matthew of need-to-know information will be spotlighted on Monday with the airing of “Lee’s Most Memorable Storm: Hurricane Matthew.”

The 3.5-minute be broadcast on Spectrum News 14 beginning at 8 p.m. Spectrum recently purchased Time-Warner.

Lee Ringer, a meteorologist, recently visited The Robesonian and did a sit-down interview with its editor, Donnie Douglas, about how the newspaper covered the hurricane and its flooding after the newspaper’s offices were flooded on Oct. 8.

The newsroom not only lost most of the electronics needed to produce a newspaper, staff in all departments were affected, and some key people were in emergency shelters. The press itself did not run for 17 days, making the newspaper an on-line edition only for a week, and then forcing it to be printed in Mt. Airy and driven three hours to Robeson County for distribution.

Douglas worked out of a hotel in Charlotte, depending on two staff members who were able to do on-the-ground reporting.

“I certainly welcomed the opportunity to talk about what our staff was able to do,” Douglas said. “The newsroom was obviously affected, but other departments as well, administration, the pressroom, circulation, advertising. How do you sell advertising when everyone is closed, or deliver newspapers when roads are impassable?”

A shorter version of the show will air on Tuesday at 6 a.m., and then the full show will air again on Saturday.

The newspaper on June 1 returned its full staff to its renovated office at 2175 Roberts Ave.

Staff Report