Articles about "Weather coverage"


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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. Verify it, or don’t spread it. Those are your choices.

Here are some photo verification resources to help you out:

Often we are alerted to videos that are duplicated and reposted. Finding the original source is the first step in our verification process and it can require several techniques. Image technology allows us to find the first instance of video thumbnails and images. Examining data embedded within the image provides more information. And by identifying keywords to run through search engines, we often find the first upload of a video or image.

  • Here’s a presentation I recently gave that includes an entire section about photo and video verification. (It’s based in part on a previous presentation I gave with Mandy Jenkins):

Overall, remember to always beware of “amazing shots” that circulate during breaking news situations. Events like Sandy are ideal for hoaxes, and they love nothing more than getting the press to share their handiwork. 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. Photos. Damage reports. Rescue attempts.

Education reporter Jamon Smith checked out his own neighborhood and found his apartment building destroyed and a victim buried in the rubble.


“The first indications anybody was getting of how widespread this devastation was, was through [our reporters’] tweets,” Lee said.

The News journalists arrived at many scenes of destruction even before emergency first-responders. The National Guard relied upon some of those tweets to decide where to deploy first, Lee said.

The News’ aggressive realtime use of Twitter was very important, Pulitzer jury member Kathy Best told me. (Best is managing editor of The Seattle Times, which won the Breaking News prize in 2010 in part for using Twitter and Google Wave to cover the shooting deaths of four police officers.)

“They made it clear to all of us who were judges this year for Breaking News that we needed to look very hard at realtime reporting,” Best said. “Were the news organizations that entered taking full advantage of all of the tools they had to report breaking news as it was happening? We took that really seriously and eliminated some of the entries because they waited too long to tell readers what was going on.”

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

Of course, there was much other non-Twitter journalism that helped the News earn its Pulitzer Prize: Several days of excellent print reporting under horrible circumstances, more than 300 photos in online galleries, and a people locator that helped hundreds reconnect with loved ones after the storm.

“It’s not about any particular tool,” Best said. “It’s about using every tool that’s available to you in the moment. One of those tools is a print publication that takes all the great stuff you’ve done in the moment and puts it in context.”

In this case, from the tornado’s first touch down through the cleanup, Twitter became the newspaper’s neverending stream of important and heartbreaking news.

A lesson for the staff

Just a few months before the tornado, the News had put staffers through a session on how to use Twitter and Facebook. “I think there were some skeptics on the staff who didn’t see how that was going to apply to our day-to-day jobs,” Lee said. “But that training really kicked in that day.”

“It was the first real, practical application of social media for us that we could actually see this has definite uses,” Lee said. “There was no other place to get information. I was stuck here in the newsroom and all I was hearing was what I was reading from my own reporters.”

“Now we’re all true believers thanks to Twitter.”

Nearly a year after it live-tweeted the tornado, The Tuscaloosa News (one of 16 papers acquired by Halifax Media in January) got to send out a much happier tweet Tuesday:

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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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Hurricane Irene generated most coverage of any hurricane since PEJ started tracking news in 2007

Project for Excellence in Journalism
After running the numbers for the week of Aug. 22-28, PEJ found that stories about Hurricane Irene comprised 21 percent of all news covered, less than the 26 percent devoted to news about unrest in the Middle East. Network TV news devoted a third of its airtime to the storm, followed slightly by cable news. Online, radio and newspaper coverage lagged significantly. PEJ notes that Irene generated the largest share of the news coverage of any hurricane since it started tracking coverage in January 2007. The closest competitor was Gustav, which was the subject of 17 percent of stories in the first week of September, 2008.

But dominance is relative; Gustav was a distant second to 2008 election coverage. Remember Hurricane Earl? Probably not. It caused little damage, although the media spent a lot of time covering it, too. Coverage of that storm from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, 2010 comprised 13 percent of news hole, but that made it the top story for the week. “If anything,” PEJ noted in its report then, “last week’s coverage proved again that meteorology is tricky and the media walk a fine line between legitimate concern and excessive hype in a story of this type.” Somewhere there’s a story about hype being relative. Oh, here it is: The 6 criteria for hype & why Hurricane Irene coverage does not meet them | Related: Patch gets big traffic bump from Hurricane Irene Read more

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