When Hurricane Michael hit Panama City in October 2018, it not only closed businesses but also the printing of the Panama City News Herald newspaper. Yet, the printing and distribution of this coastal newspaper was only down for a short period of time. Katie Landeck, managing editor, had taken shelter in a local firehouse and after the storm, was trying to get back to the News Herald building. What she found was that a major bridge was closed and she had to leave her vehicle behind and ended up going on foot to the building. What she found was a building in shambles with a roof caved in and walls leaning into the building. By Friday after the hurricane, the News Herald had a trailer set up in their parking lot and the staff was using burner phones to talk to each other. With the help of other GateHouse newspapers they were able to assemble the news, and the Gannett newspaper, the Montgomery Advertiser in Alabama, was printing their physical newspaper. Even weeks later, staff members were making sure the News Herald was delivered to its residents, sometimes even by foot.
Katie Landeck is the print managing editor of the Panama City News Herald, and led the daily paper’s coverage through Hurricane Michael. Before being promoted to the managing editor, she worked as a reporter covering a variety of topics including government, the environment and health in Florida.
She’s one numerous awards, including GateHouse’s Beat Reporter of the Year in 2016. Between college and the real world, she spent a summer working at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico living in a tent and then did AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps, which both turned out to be valuable experiences when covering a hurricane.
As a reporter she has won ten Florida Press Club awards in 2018, seven in 2017 and three in 2016.
She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a journalism degree.