Hurricane Katrina


Quotes and comments from Sun Herald and Knight Ridder staffers on the Sun Herald's gold medal Pulitzer Prize for service journalism, announced Monday:

"The newspaper's role in making sure that all the people of South Mississippi move forward, I think, will be on us for many years to come. This delights me to know that this newspaper is that engaged in the process." Sun Herald Publisher Ricky Mathews

"You have risen to magnificent heights and you will live always in my memory of a time when your journalism set the standard for an industry that sorely needed such a reminder. Every one of you is a hero to me and I thank you for giving so much. Finally, this Pulitzer Prize is dedicated to the people of South Mississippi whose magnificent hearts and spirit moved us every day that we have been privileged to tell the story of their struggle and triumphs. They will not be defeated, not by Katrina, or anything." Sun Herald Executive Editor Stan Tiner to staff

"The staff has been just absolutely unbelievable. At a time when people were going through some of the most difficult times of their lives, to see them do the work they did and to have the community respond in kind is something I'll never forget." Kate Magandy, city editor and online editor, 14-year Sun Herald veteran

"This is validation, but winning or not winning wouldn't change what we did. I think we all did great work. We just tried to keep showing up and doing our jobs." Reporter and blog runner Don Hammack, who lost his home to the storm

"This is the biggest thing in any journalist's life. But every one of us would give it back in a second if we could undo the storm that turned everything in our lives upside down." - Editorial Page Editor Marie Harris, also a finalist for a Pulitzer for editorial writing, along with Tony Biffle and Stan Tiner

"I'm kind of without words." Kat Bergeron, a 25-year Sun Herald veteran who's almost never been without words

"I'm just proud we got it for public service, not spot news coverage or something, because I think we did do community service. A couple of photos I took helped families know their loved ones down here were alive. That's really the proudest moment for me." photographer David Purdy, 20-year employee

"For the first four or five days, we actually rationed gas at five gallons a pop. We had carriers lined up. We had reporters lined up. We had district managers lined up. I think the most gratifying thing was being on Pass Road and having people chase us down as we were delivering papers." Sun Herald Circulation Director Gary Raskett

"We could not be prouder than we are right now. This is so great. I feel so proud. Thank you all." Tony Ridder, CEO of Knight Ridder, Sun Herald parent company, addressing the newsroom Monday afternoon

"Everyone at the Sun Herald was such an inspiration to us. When we were tired, they gave us energy. When we didn't know what to do next, they were the spark. They will forever be family." Bryan Monroe, assistant VP/News at Knight Ridder, who led the Knight Ridder team to the paper the day Katrina hit