Today, The Lens is introducing Behind The Lens, a weekly podcast where our reporters discuss the work they’ve done and give readers a preview of what’s coming up.

Behind The Lens is produced by Lens contributor Tom Wright, a digital producer and independent journalist based in New Orleans. Tom’s previous work includes investigative producing with local broadcaster Lee Zurik, legislative affairs reporting for Mississippi Public Broadcasting and global affairs coverage for CNN. Tom is a winner of the DuPont, Peabody and Murrow awards for his investigative production workYou can reach him on Twitter (@StateStPosts) and via his web site,

In our first episode, Tom talks to reporter Marta Jewson about a recent vote by the Orleans Parish School Board to raise school cafeteria workers’ minimum wage to $15 an hour. The catch is it only applies to 13 out of the city’s 87 schools. Also, the city’s school district is proposing to limit or ban early morning school-bus pickups.

Then we hear from reporter Michael Isaac Stein on some major proposed changes to the city’s short-term rental law. And Michael gives an update on Crowds on Demand, the California company that paid people to come to New Orleans City Council meetings and support a proposed Entergy power plant. The company is facing a federal lawsuit for its alleged role in a what the plaintiff says is an international extortion scheme.