Monday, September 01, 2008

Daily Reveille offers model hurricane coverage

If you want a great example of how a student newspaper can cover a major breaking news story as it unfolds, just check out The Daily Reveille at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

The newspaper is covering every angle of Hurricane Gustav, from the arrival of U.S. Army and National Guard units to the booming business at the local Domino's pizza restaurant. The staff has redesigned the newspaper's home pages so that all the news "above the fold" focuses on Gustav.

Pat Parish, associate director of the LSU Student Media Office, said the radio, TV and newspaper staffs "are doing a lot of new things this fall that really exploit the possibilities of online. For Gustav, their goal is to own the LSU angle."

Much of the staff is camped out in the Student Media offices, Parish wrote in a post the College Media Advisers listserv. "It's a good sturdy building -- with upper floors to flee to, if the levee should break!"

Parish herself is microblogging the storm on Twitter. You can follow her posts at SouthLousiana.

The newspaper's Web site offers truly comprehensive coverage of the hurricane, making use not just of its own staff but campus and national resources. Coverage includes:
  • Frequent news updates (posted all through the night)
  • A live video stream showing the storm
  • A link to the National Hurricane Center's hurricane tracking map
  • A hurricane blog
  • A link to the LSU Hurricane Alert Center
  • A list of closures on campus
  • A special multimedia section with videos about the storm.
  • A poll asking readers if they have evacuated.

The Daily Reveille's coverage offers a model other student newspapers dealing with a major news event can turn to.

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