Saturday, September 03, 2005 Seeks Web Producers for Weeks Ahead (Poynter Online), the website of the beleaguered New Orleans Times-Picayune, has put out a call for "skilled producers who want to work for us on a temporary basis." According to Advance Internet president Peter Weinberger (Advance operates, the site initially is seeking some freelance help in the weeks and possibly months ahead to enable it to better cover the massive hurricane-aftermath and cleanup story.

The newspaper operation, including its website staff of 15 people, has been moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, since the T-P building is uninhabitable. Weinberger says that the company is not at this point thinking of having temporary producers be in Baton Rouge, but rather work from wherever they live.

Understandably, the and Advance Internet managers have not yet scoped out a complete plan of attack, so Weinberger was unable to speak of long-term coverage plans for the website. ( editor Jon Donley was unreachable.) Nor would Weinberger predict how long the site might want temporary help. has, predictably, seen huge usage numbers this week. Yesterday's page-view count was around 30 million; in comparison, the entire page-view count for the month of July was 26 million. Weinberger says the traffic numbers seem to grow each day as the New Orleans crisis deepens.

With the demand for information from the public to the website of New Orleans' dominant newspaper sure to be huge, the staff will have a huge task ahead in the coming weeks -- indeed, throughout the rebuilding process.

Online news professionals interested in helping out are being asked to send e-mail to

Grace E. Lee