As soon as a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck the East Coast today, Twitter users jumped online. Web analytics company Chartbeat, which tracks traffic on hundreds of news sites, said it quickly broke previous records for web traffic across its sites, with more than 4.6 million visitors across them and 400,000 in about 15 minutes. BreakingNews.com set an all-time record for simultaneous visits in the moments after earthquake, according to The New York Times' Brian Stelter. Celebrities were among those posting reaction and prayers -- here is what they had to say. (more…)
Travis Fox, a video journalist for WashingtonPost.com, has filed great footage of coalition troops in Umm Qasr, Iraq, building a prisoner of war camp. For most of his stories, Fox uses a Sony PD150, a roughly $7,000, 12-pound digital video camera with a five-hour battery. The gear is less than half the weight and one-tenth the cost of equipment used by crews for large networks. (If you're interested in how washingtonpost.com does such great multimedia work online continually, read CyberJournalist.net's Q&A with Tom Kennedy, who oversees the operations.)
Knight-Ridder received a lot of criticism last year after it moved all of its sites to one Web publishing system and gave them a similar cookie-cutter look -- but one of the things the new system has enabled it to do well is share content across sites. A good example of this is its Iraq coverage. In particular, check out War Watch, a good blog edited by two SiliconValley.com staffers that can also be found on sites like philly.com and miami.com.
There is tremendous potential for news sites to use online infographics to enhance the presentation of information. How are some of the major news organizations creating infographics online? In a report for CyberJournalist.net, Nora Paul, the director of the University of Minnesota's Institute for New Media Studies, compares how news organizations were explaining the B-52 Bomber. (more…)
Julia McCarthy writes in: The CBC website coverage on the Iraq crisis is absolutely fantastic. Contains indepth background, different viewpoints, great maps and interactives. Two of my favourites include the military movements map and the photo gallery of inside Iraq. The main indepth page is located at http://www.cbc.ca/news/iraq/. And the links to the two are on the right-hand side under "Latest Features" and "In Pictures". I like the map since it's really easy to use and navigate. And it looks like they'll be updating to follow each day. The Inside Iraq photo gallery works, I think, since it shows Iraqis. It gives a face to the people of Iraq. And I don't see many sites doing that. Thanks for the great site. - Julia
Most major sites have turned to Flash graphics to chronicle the day-to-day war action: The Washington Post's Troop Tracker is a deep interactive that tracks day-by-day action and adds history, antiwar info, and photos via other tabs. USA Today Chronicling Iraqi Freedom is another Flash graphic showing day-to-day action. The Guardian's War Tracker is a comprehensive, easy-to-understand Flash graphic showing all the war action, and continually updated. MSNBC.com's In the Battle Zone is another interactive map showing casualties and other war action day-by-day. CNN.com chose an HTML page for its War Tracker, which is packed with the latest information about battles, airstrikes, casualties and even a chart of Iraqi surrenders.
Minneapolis Star Tribune correspondents in the Mideast are filing some great multimedia reports, including audio reports from all five staffers in the region. Star Tribune newspaper photographer Mike Zerby has been filing video from the Marine camp where he is embedded in Kuwait (for the moment): Among them are good videos of troops getting their final briefing and taking their oath and singing the Marine hymn.
At 10:15 p.m. EST Thursday, President Bush announced that the United States and its allies had launched a campaign to liberate Iraq. Poynter Online has collected screenshots of news Web sites over the 45 minutes that followed.