The evolving story of Hurricane Sandy

Reading time: 2 min

From the time the potential of Hurricane Sandy was first realized in the Atlantic, news organizations around the world were using real-time updates to inform their readers.

The New York Daily News was one of them.

Like other organizations, their reporters and editors pushed out fantastic coverage of the storm’s effects, giving readers up-to-the-second updates, alerts and information.

Unlike other organizations, the NYDN didn’t have – and still doesn’t have – their office.

The newspaper started covering Hurricane Sandy through a liveblog on Oct. 28. Their coverage included photostext posts and Tweets – and went above and beyond by adding an interactive flood mapvideos from press conferences and a transit tracking widget.

“Early, Online Editor Ted Young led our web team into quarters at The Associated Press on W. 33rd St. In Pittsburgh, Managing Editor for Digital Lauren Johnston set up a live storm blog in the kitchen of her relatives’ home,” reads a piece by Colin Myler. “From it flowed a lifeline of vital information, pictures and stories. During the storm Monday, the blog had more than 62,000 readers and started toward a week of record traffic.”

One tool they used was LiveArticle, a living article that sits at the top of the liveblog and gives people context before they get into the real-time posts. As the story changed, the context the NYDN provided needed updates, including road and school closures, FEMA updates, links to essential services for displaced New Yorkers and hurricane alerts. Using LiveArticle, the organization was able to give its audience photos and links that prepared them for the newest posts of the liveblog. The liveblog became an important public service for New Yorkers looking for up-to-the-second information about the disaster facing their city.

More coverage from around the world

Reuters has also had thorough real-time hurricane coverage, including an evacuation mapa crisis response map and video reports. Currently sitting at 116 pages of content, the news agency is also using LiveArticle to give readers some context before they get into the meat of the real-time content.

CBC embedded their liveblog content into their main story about the hurricane. The maps, Tweets and news bites allowed them to update their readers more quickly than they could have with a traditional article. Among the pulled-in Tweeters were Governor Chris Christie, New York City’s Office of Emergency Management and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Although they were on the other side of the pond, MSN UK pulled together real-time content by drawing upon the Press Association coverage through LiveSyndication. Weather reports were enhanced by satellite photos and pictures from the areas hit by Sandy.

Digital First Media also used the Syndication Marketplace to push their content to their own properties as well as media organizations such as Minnesota Public Radio and The Vancouver Sun. Their coverage included the usual suspects: photos, text posts, maps, Tweets, polls and email comments.

Other organizations churning out great original content about Hurricane Sandy included: WCVB, Boston.comSun Media, WBAL, Baristanet and PBS.

For a look at what coverage other news organizations produced about Sandy and tips about how to avoid false reports during disaster, click here. For a list of other Hurricane Sandy liveblogs, check out this blog post.