Weather coverage

APTOPIX Northeast Snow

New York Times, Wall Street Journal drop paywalls for storm coverage

The New York Times will drop its paywall tonight to provide unlimited, free access as readers seek information about the massive winter storm hitting New York and the northeast.

“We’re planning to drop the meter at 6 tonight & re-evaluate the situation tomorrow evening,” said Vice President of Corporate Communications Eileen Murphy by email.

The Wall Street Journal is dropping its paywall as well, it says in an email:

Due to anticipated delivery disruptions because of the winter storm, The Wall Street Journal will be dropping its paywall beginning tonight at midnight through the weekend.

The Times plans to reinstate its paywall at 6 p.m. Saturday, Murphy said by email.

The WSJ and Times dropped their paywalls during Hurricane Sandy too. The Times remained free for five days due to the storm. Read more

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Weather professionals losing ‘Nemo’ as northeast blizzard name

The New York Times
As a massive winter storm begins to hammer New York and New England, a line of defense is forming: meteorologists who won’t call the storm “Nemo,” the Weather Channel’s name for it.

“Not on your life,” says WJLA-TV meteorologist Bob Ryan. “We’re not using that arbitrary name for the storm. It’s meaningless,” says Washington Post weather editor Jason Samenow (resolve at the paper’s Capital Weather Gang did not prove as strong). “No, we will not be using that,” said a person who answered the phone on the assignment desk at Boston’s WCVB. “I won’t do it. LOL,” David Epstein, who writes a weather blog for The Boston Globe, tells Poynter in an email.

The airwaves, printways and CMSes of affected areas may remain Nemo-free, but there’s one sphere where the name is bandied about freely: Social media. Read more

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Instagram users are posting 10 Hurricane Sandy pictures every second

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom tells us via a spokeswoman: “There are now 10 pictures per second being posted with the hashtag #sandy — most are images of people prepping for the storm and images of scenes outdoors.”

The total photos posted as of now:

PandoDaily’s Sara Lacy asks whether “Hurricane Sandy … could be Instagram’s big citizen journalism moment.” Read more

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How journalists can avoid getting fooled by fake Hurricane Sandy photos

There’s a simple truth in journalism: big weather brings an onslaught of fake images.

This is already fully on display with Sandy, as evidenced by an old shot taken at the Tomb of the Unknowns that’s circulating today, along with several other fake or old images that have taken flight on Twitter and Instagram.

A new site called “Is Twitter Wrong?” is listing fake images. BuzzFeed has also built a list of nine fake images, as well as a quiz you can take to test your skills at spotting fakes. Similarly, The Atlantic has started sorting out the fake Sandy photos from the real ones.

Earlier today, journalist Andrew Katz tweeted this observation: “Half of Twitter is debunking #sandy photos posted by the other half. Second half should vet images so everyone can focus on news.”

How do you avoid getting fooled? Step one is to not retweet or repost any image you see circulating online.  Read more

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5 creative ways journalists are covering Hurricane Sandy online

As Hurricane Sandy barrels up the East Coast Monday, news organizations are creating special online coverage.

Here are some of the creative ways journalists are trying to help the public get through the storm. Read more

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Journalists cover, reflect on Hurricane Andrew 20 years later

Miami New Times | Society for News Design | Miami Herald
Hurricane Andrew made landfall in Florida 20 years ago this week. Chuck Strouse talks with fellow former Miami Herald reporters about how they covered the big storm. That coverage won them the 1993 Public Service Pulitzer, a high point in the newspaper’s history. Lizette Alvarez remembers being in a hotel in Florida City where guests had to “dash from room to room as the roof flipped off in chunks.” Ileana Oroza remembers an interaction with a subscriber the next day:

It was about 8 a.m. when the phone rang. One of the editors answered, and after a few seconds, said in a pleading voice: “Sir, we just had a hurricane.” The caller was an annoyed reader asking why his newspaper hadn’t been delivered.

Here are some visual highlights from the Herald’s coverage, from the Society for News Design :

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This photo by Dusty Compton landed on the front page of newspapers across the country.

How The Tuscaloosa News’ post-tornado tweeting helped bring home a Pulitzer Prize

When the Pulitzer Prize Board announced last year it would emphasize real-time reporting for the Breaking News category starting in 2012, some speculated whether we would someday see a Pulitzer Prize for tweeting.

As it turns out, this year’s winner came pretty close.

A few of the tweets sent by The Tuscaloosa News and its reporters following the tornado.

The prize for Breaking News went to a small newspaper that combined old-fashioned field reporting with a new tool, Twitter, after a tornado devastated swaths of Tuscaloosa, Ala., on April 27, 2011.

The storm knocked out power, and for a couple days The Tuscaloosa News relied on backup generators that could power only a handful of newsroom computers. Phone lines were dead and cell towers were jammed.

“Calls couldn’t get through,” City Editor Katherine Lee told me, “but texts and tweets could.”

Twitter carried the first reports

As reporters and photographers fanned out across the city to survey the damage, they live-tweeted what they saw and learned. Read more

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KTLA weatherman Henry DiCarlo throws fit on air

Huffington Post
Henry DiCarlo, the morning weatherman at KTLA in Los Angeles, threw a fit Wednesday and walked off camera after conducting a live interview and then not having time to do his weather segment. As he left, he scolded the producers: “When you send a weatherman out to do the weather but you’re also sending him out to do a story, you might want to give him a little extra time. But that’s just me.” The anchors played it off with humor. Chris Schauble: “Maybe we’ll give him a little cheese to go with that whine.” || Marginally related: Ron Paul walks out on CNN interview

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Casey Anthony the most searched story of 2011

Bing (via Mashable) | Project for Excellence in Journalism
Bing has released rankings of its most searched terms this year, and crime and terrorism top the list of news stories, followed by weather and celebrity. The top 10 list:

  1. Casey Anthony Trial
  2. Osama bin Laden Death
  3. Hurricane Irene
  4. Japan Earthquake/Tsunami
  5. Amy Winehouse Death
  6. Joplin Tornado
  7. Michael Jackson trial/Conrad Murray
  8. 9/11 10 Year Anniversary
  9. Republican Candidates – Herman Cain, Rick Perry
  10. Haiti anniversary

Tracking done by the Project for Excellence in Journalism shows that Anthony was the top newsmaker — and her trial among the top stories — for at least three weeks this summer. It was also the most covered trial since PEJ started tracking news in 2007. Read more

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Besides predicting the weather, meteorologists are expected to tell people what to do about it

The Wall Street Journal
This has been a tough year for meteorologists. Forecasting technology has improved — “A one-day forecast comes within three degrees of hitting the mark, on average; a three-day forecast is usually accurate within four degrees” — but meteorologists still can’t predict the exact intensity of hurricanes or precisely where a storm will dump snow or rain. Adding to the pressure, “people increasingly look to meteorologists not only to predict the weather, but to tell them what to do about it,” Sue Shellenbarger writes. “When Hurricane Irene roared up the Atlantic seaboard in August, dozens of anxious people asked meteorologist Elliot Abrams where to park their cars or how much food to buy. Mr. Abrams, a senior vice president with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pa., broadcast hurricane updates on 15 radio stations and responded to callers who wanted to know, ‘Should I board up my windows?’ ” || Related: Hurricane Irene provides window into The Weather Channel’s info-tainmentIrene generated most coverage of any hurricane since PEJ started tracking news in 2007 Read more

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