Referenced old Hurricanes: Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Camille, etc.
Gave the Hurricane scale and explained what each level actually means
"The storm surge will most likely topple our levee system," the mayor predicted grimly. That would turn New Orleans into a bowl filled with up to 35 feet of fetid water, laced with sewage, oils and toxic chemicals, that may not drain for months.”
MSNBC.com: "When an event like Hurricane Katrina occurs, we want to offer our consumers a news experience with sight, sound and motion in addition to written word," said Charlie Tillinghast, General Manager and Publisher for MSNBC.com.
They offered photo slideshows updated with photos from the day,
Interactive hurricane tracker
Citizen journalism, which offered collected reports from citizens in the region
TWC Hurricane Katrina coverage: August 27 & 28 2005
The Weather Channel executed effective reporting on during the hurricane by explaining what it means for the people in the region that Katrina is labeled as a category 5 hurricane and by giving information regarding the traffic as a result of the evacuation routes
An appropriate balance between important facts and opinions
The piece shouldn’t overload the reader with too many unnecessary facts, nor should it omit them altogether
Including facts that fit well with opinions makes the writing more fluid and has more of an impact
The writer should make sure that the information is presented in a way that will interest the reader and spark a desire to learn more.
An Opening paragraph to a NYT article:
“ Despair, privation, and violent lawlessness grew so extreme in New Orleans on Thursday that the flooded cities mayor issued a “desperate SOS” and other local officials, describing the security situation as horrific, lambasted the federal government as responding too slowly to the disaster.”
An article that provides information on relief efforts should present clear strategies to the reader, often the use of bullets or lists with descriptions is most effective.
The article should talk to both those in need of help and those looking to provide help.
The writer should omit personal opinions from a piece that focuses on relief efforts as it should be more informative over entertaining.
A good article written on relief efforts should not be overwhelming, often those that were more succinct were more useful to readers.
Use of Relative and Credible Sources
It is important to include the views of other citizens when reporting a story but those who are interviewed must have a relative connection to the crisis.
A NYT article, “ Rotting Food, Dirty Water, And Heat Add to Problems , looks to sources such as “the director of emergency management for Harrison County” as well as a doctor who directs the emergency room at an effected hospital.
These sources make the article stronger because of their relevance to the subject.
Necessary for post-Katrina coverage to cover most socially relevant elements of the hurricane so that general public is able to process critical information and most optimally contribute to restoration process.
Ed James September 17th Liverpool Daily Post : “Hurricane Katrina: The Aftermath: Return to city starts next week”:
-produces an initial sense of attempting to describe a new post-hurricane community by describing Mayor Ray Nagin’s proposed plans for New Orleans…
-arguments quickly lose substance
-Article generates nearly as much speculation as fact
-Backs up speculation with irrelevant or illegitimate sources, like a strip club owner
-Sources like this don’t represent the majority of the affected community