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Web Proves Its Capacity to Help in Time of Need

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Thirty years after the Internet was created as a communications system of last resort, the network fulfilled its mission during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina — but in ways more sweeping than its founders could have imagined.

It reunited families and connected them with shelter. It turned amateur photographers into chroniclers of history and ordinary people into pundits. It allowed television stations to keep broadcasting and newspapers to keep publishing. It relayed heartbreaking tales of loss and intimate moments of triumph.

In the process, the Internet cemented itself further into the American mainstream, demonstrating the flexibility that its designers envisioned and a vibrancy they did not.

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At mediachannel.org

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