If you want to know what's really going on in a war or disaster zone, read the on-the-ground blogs. Of course personal blogs are not edited or regulated like the mainstream media, that's part of their value. I don't think it's exactly a replacement for old fashioned journalism, but what a fascinating supplement. Sure you can't believe everything you read on the internet... but then you need your bullshit meter switched on just to watch the news on tv anyway.
Photographer Clayton Cubitt's Operation Eden is his ongoing story of the destruction from Hurricane Katrina in his home town of Pearlington, Mississipi, where the home he bought for his mother and younger brother was wrecked along with most of the town. Let the whole page load and then start from the bottom. It's an amazing read.
Josh Norman and Mike Keller, journalists with the Sun Herald in South Mississippi, in Mike's words: "two guys too dumb to get out of the way of what is turning into one of the most destructive natural forces to hit the mainland U.S. ever", hunkered down in their newsroom to ride out the storm and then got on with documenting the aftermath - both for the paper and their blog - and helping with relief efforts (and apparently subsisting on Spam). Eye of the Storm is their personal outlet, way of keeping in touch with friends elsewere, and a place for their many photos that don't make it into the paper.
While we're on bad news, remember those magpie babies? Sadly, last week, we noticed the nest was empty. On Monday I looked out the window during a thunderstorm, and the mother was sitting on the nest. Tuesday, nest empty. There is no way they were ready to leave yet. I hadn't even been able to get a photo that showed more than an undistinguished pile of fluff. We think something probably ate them. Nature at work.