Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In storm coverage, some hyperlocals shine

I kept going to on Monday to see what was happening on the Cape during the storm.

I mean, it's a no-brainer that, if you ran the largest daily on the Cape, you'd have people sending in their photos, right? And that readers around the world would be checking in on their beloved Cape Cod. And it's so easy.  Nowadays, you can set up an Instagram page or even a Facebook page and have readers upload their smartphone photos; you can do all kinds of things with your content to inform readers.

Alas, this didn't happen at the Cape Cod Times. Or the Greenfield Recorder, my local paper.  I kept clicking back and finding the same five photos in the slideshow, all of them at least 12 hours old by that time. I finally clicked over to the Cape Cod Times Facebook page and there, I found some pics in that a reader who is also a real estate agent had linked to, on her own page. An ABC news affiliate had also posted, asking this real estate agent if they could use her photos.

Hmmm. Missed opportunity?

It reminded me of last year, during Hurricane Irene, when the town of Shelburne Falls, near where I live, was washing down the Deerfield River, and I saw the footage not long after...not on my local newspaper website, but on Facebook.

In New York City, just the opposite happened. Hyperlocal sites are the stars this week.
Take a look at, a local news site in New York City. This site covered the bejeebers out of the city's neighborhoods. The Times coverage was great, but by drilling down into the boroughs, this site produced some amazingly compelling stories. Wanna work in New York? They have an opening.

And here's a piece about New York 1, the local cable channel. Goes to show that you don't have to be in the big leagues to do great journalism, and maybe a digital startup is a better choice for a young journalist.

Coney Media has a terrific roundup of local New York sites, and how they performed in the storm. Didn't know there were this many out there. Take a look.

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