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CBC's great Iraq coverage

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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

TheSmokingGun.com's Unexpected Scoops

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Since 1997, TheSmokingGun.com has published headline-grabbing documents, FBI and police reports and lawsuits -- several times scooping mainstream media on juicy stories, all while not getting sued. "They do a very impressive job of ferreting out public information," Fox spokesman Scott Grogin told MarketWatch. Among the SmokingGun's scoops: Reporting that a finalist in Fox's "Joe Millionaire" had appeared in fetish and bondage movies; publishing the testimony given in 1993 by the teenage boy who sued Michael Jackson for sexual battery and emotional distress; publishing documents in 2000 showing that the star of "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire" had been restrained by a court order from seeing his ex-girlfriend, whom he had been accused of striking. The MarketWatch story includes a vi...

Projo.com on The Station Fire

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The Providence Journal's Web site has done such a good job covering the fatal fire at The Station nightclub in Rhode Island that it's hard to know what to single out. In addition to continually updating the site with staff-written stories on the latest developments from the moment the news first broke early Friday morning, the site has published a slew of impressive online-only features, including: A first-person account from a survivor searching for his mystery savior; an online memorial for readers to post condolences for the fire victims; five flash slide shows and video from a partner TV site; useful information such as victim and memorial details; and much, much more. As a public service, the site has not only been running a Weblog of online reaction to the fire by staff blogger Sheil...

Projo.com: Stormin' Through

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As snow blanketed the East Coast, storm coverage blanketed East Coast news sites. One site that stood out was The Providence Journal's, Projo.com, which packed in comprehensive reporting with information on local closings, parking bans, travel schedules and how to cope with the snow. The site was also wonderfully interactive with its community, publishing a bulletin board for folks to share their snow storm stories; a spot Storm Blog reporting notes from around the state; and a slide show of reader photos. The last two features mentioned highlight two promising approaches to covering breaking news online that are being used increasingly -- spot Weblogs, such as Florida Today's Columbia landing journal and Spaceflight Now's Mission Status Center; and reader slide shows, such as this fr...

Columbia's Last Flight Online

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Last weekend's shuttle disaster unfolded as much online as it did on radio or television. A group of space enthusiasts learned of the trouble in real time by listening to mission control via NASA TV's Webcast. They and other trackers shared their thoughts online in many forums, including a discussion board for shuttle buffs on the Free Republic Web site. The New York Times has culled some of the more interesting comments into a compelling narrative; you can read the full discussion on Free Republic.

Interactive Storytelling: Columbia Crash

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Most news sites responded well with slide shows and the gathering of current and background stories on the shuttle crash, but several stood out. In a special report for CyberJournalist.net, Nora Paul, the Director of the Institute for New Media Studies at the University of Minnesota, examines which sites created content that helped the public better understand the events in ways that just couldn't be done in print or on air. Continue reading...

Shuttle Debris Video Online

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In addition to Florida Today, which published a close-up video of the Columbia launch, The Washington Post also posted a video online with a different view of the debris hitting the left wing. The site smartly enlarged, slowed and looped the video to make the debris easier to see. WashingtonPost.com also posted multimedia reports online from Web staffers in the region. "We had a Web team in Louisiana working on another story and they quickly moved to Texas and filed audio and video reports," Senior Video Editor Chet Rhodes tells CyberJournalist.net. "We also used one of our Post-Newsweek stations (KPRC) to send back video over the past 3 days."

Shuttle Crash News Weblogs

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As news on the shuttle's crash came out, Florida Today posted continual updates to its "Columbia landing journal," a Weblog of the failed landing and the aftermath. This was a particularly effective format for breaking news such as this: as tidbits were released, staffers John Kelly, Chris Kridler and Kelly Young added the latest details, getting the news out fast and giving readers an easy way to see the latest news without having to comb through long articles and figure out what's been added since they last read it. This nicely complemented the site's comprehensive coverage, including its exclusive close-up video of the Columbia launch, showing debris possibly hitting the wing. Spaceflight Now's site also ran Weblog-like updates as news broke, in a feature called "Mission Status Center."...