PAULINE’S PICKS: Using Web For Updates On Fallout From Fire

By: Pauline Millard

Breaking news doesn’t end when the event does. Such was the case when a fire broke out in a loading dock at a Sofa Super Store in Charleston, S.C. and killed nine fireman back in June.

The fire was big news for the Charleston community and The Post and Courier found a way to update everyone on the latest news online while keeping it organized.

The special section on their Web siteis anchored mostly by print stories with the latest news on top. Along the right-hand margins are photogalleries of not just the blaze but of each of the firemen’s funerals as well as community reactions to the accident. Readers have also submitted their own photos and videos.

For readers who want to connect with others, there are forums in which to discuss the fire and its impact.

I really liked the way The Post and Courier handled this section for a few reasons. For starters, they had the foresight to set aside a spot only for fire coverage, which was clearly the biggest news in the Charleston area. Secondly, as far as web projects go, this one is pretty low-tech, relying mainly on text stories and a few photo galleries — yes, there are videos and interactive graphics, but most of the section is simple while still being a great resource.

Has your paper ever used the web to unite the community after a tragic event? I’d love to know. Or send along anything else special that you ahve done recently. In this column every day I am spotlighting exciting new ways of Web use.

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