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.


WNYC developed an interactive, embeddable map that updates with the latest forecast of the storm's path, based on data from the National Hurricane Center.

The Huffington Post is working with SeeClickFix to map reports of storm-related outages and infrastructure problems.

Google's Crisis Map overlays lots of visual data about the storm -- radar, forecast track, emergency shelters, etc. And its New York City-specific version of that map also includes evacuation zones and storm surge probabilities.

Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, data visualization experts at Google, have created a dynamic map infographic that animates the current wind patterns across the U.S. It was launched as a personal project a few months ago, but it's especially useful in a situation like this.

Click to see the live wind map in action.

The Guardian also points to a data visualization map by a U.S. developer, John Nelson, that plots the path of every hurricane since 1851.

Live video

Guardian U.S. reporter Adam Gabbatt did live reports-- the second one in "a more exciting voice" -- from Battery Park via Ustream.

Bloomberg has a live rooftop video camera stream in New York and also is live streaming special TV coverage online until 6 p.m. ET. Regular TV coverage will stream the rest of the evening.

And Wall Street Journal reporters are posting short video clips to the organization's WorldStream video-blogging page.


The New York Times set up sky-facing camera in a 51st floor storage space to automatically take periodic photos and post them online. The result is great shots like this one from Sunday night:

This was the view from The New York Times' webcam Sunday night at 11:40 p.m.

Multimedia producer Jon Huang shared a behind-the-scenes photo of the setup on Instagram:

Photo by Jon Huang

The (Newark) Star-Ledger also has webcams set up along New Jersey beaches.

Quartz has rounded up links to webcams up and down the East Coast.


Animated images of storm coverage? We've got that.

Live chats

Newark Star-Ledger started a 24-hour live chat online at 8 a.m. Sunday to answer reader questions on everything from evacuation plans to public transportation, Poynter's Caitlin Johnson reports.

The Guardian has a live chat with meteorologists at 2 p.m. ET

AccuWeather and WNYC set up a Google Hangout Sunday to have their meteorologists answer questions about the hurricane.

Lifting paywalls

Both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal suspended their website paywalls for the storm, to make sure every reader can get all the storm coverage they need.

Related: Hurricane Sandy mixes with politics, sports on front pages

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    Jeff Sonderman

    Jeff Sonderman is the deputy director of the American Press Institute, helping to lead its use of research, tools, events, and strategic insights to advance and sustain journalism.


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