The Atlantic Creating Podcast Examining Hurricane Katrina, Hosted by Vann Newkirk

Ambitious audio series marks The Atlantic’s first longform narrative podcast.

Washington, D.C. (April 16, 2019)—The Atlantic is beginning production on an ambitious narrative podcast examining Hurricane Katrina, reported and hosted by staff writer Vann R. Newkirk II, under the leadership of executive producer Katherine Wells. The podcast will be a limited-run series and will launch in the fall.

“Katherine is a tremendously talented producer and editor, with a deep understanding of audio storytelling,” said executive editor Adrienne LaFrance. “So it makes great sense to pair Katherine with a reporter like Vann, who runs toward the biggest and most complex stories, and has a natural instinct for excavating forgotten histories as a way to understand what lies ahead.”

The podcast will examine humanity’s changing relationship to nature through the lens of Hurricane Katrina, as one of the most catastrophic—and misunderstood—events in recent American history. Newkirk, Wells, and their production team will revisit the main players, reassess the pivotal moments, and relive the histories of lost communities across the Gulf Coast.

“This podcast brings the power of our longform journalism to audio, and builds on The Atlantic’s long record of contextualizing and clarifying our nation’s most important events,” said Wells.

Newkirk joined The Atlantic as a staff writer on the Politics team in February 2016. He has covered health policy and civil rights, voting rights and environmental justice, and the confluence of race and class in American politics. He was also a part of The Atlantic’s 2016 and 2018 election coverage teams.

The Atlantic’s growing audio platform includes the weekly news and politics podcast Radio Atlantic, and the series Crazy/Genius, about to launch its third season with host Derek Thompson.


About The Atlantic

Founded in 1857 and today one of the fastest growing media platforms in the industry, The Atlantic has throughout its history championed the power of big ideas and continues to shape global debate across print, digital, events, and video platforms. With its award-winning digital presence and on cities around the world, The Atlantic is a multimedia forum on the most critical issues of our times—from politics, business, urban affairs, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. Bob Cohn is president of The Atlantic and Jeffrey Goldberg is editor in chief. Emerson Collective is majority owner; Atlantic Media is the minority operating owner of The Atlantic.

Press Contact

Hugo Rojo /