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Covering Haiti

nytimes011510.jpgIt would be impossible to touch upon the many ways in which different media outlets are covering the tragedy unfolding in Haiti after this week’s earthquake. But while some outlets, like The New York Post, are back to business as usual as the situation in the Caribbean continues to unfold, other outlets are doing excellent, around the clock work and adding innovative social media projects as well.

As the quake rocked Haiti earlier this week, networks and news nets packed up reporters and shipped them to the tiny island nation as quickly as they could. CNN’s Anderson Cooper, NBC’s Ann Curry and Brian Williams, ABC’s Diane Sawyer, CBS’s Katie Couric and Fox News’ Steve Harrigan and Bill Hemmer were among the reporters on the ground. But not all coverage was equal. Today, James Rainey praised CNN in the Los Angeles Times, while criticizing Fox News for not giving the breaking news more air time:

“CNN’s determination to stick with the news stands in stark contrast to its competitors, particularly Fox News, that in prime time have increasingly been committed to building their brands with political commentary over straight reporting.”

In newspapers, we’ve seen some superb coverage from The New York Times, including a large, gut-wrenching photo on today’s front page. The paper’s Web site is filled with photos and videos from the epicenter of the destruction, and its staff has established a site where people can submit photos of missing loved ones. The Times has also created a Facebook page dedicated to news and information of the earthquake and its recovery.


And it’s not just papers that are using social media to reach out to the public. Yesterday, our sister site BayNewser debriefed NPR’s social media guru Andy Carvin about the ways the public radio network is using Facebook and Twitter to cover and disseminate news of the quake. It’s an excellent example of crowd-sourcing news, as Carvin explains:

“We have 570,000 people following our Facebook page, and we’ve gotten a number of leads that way, simply by posting a note on the page, saying do you have any direct connections with Haiti? Are you there? Do you have family who’s there. We’ve gotten several dozen interesting leads that way, and a couple have made it to the airwaves that way.”

The Associated Press has also launched a Facebook page and Twitter feed to follow the breaking news.

In magazines, Newsweek has been getting a lot of flack for turning to President Barack Obama to write a cover story about the earthquake. But editor Jon Meacham defended the choice, claiming there was nothing partisan about the news or the mag’s decision to let the President write its cover.

Lastly, today we saw The Huffington Post take a bold step: dedicating the top of every section across the site to coverage of the relief efforts and ways readers can donate and get involved. In the same vein, MTV is planning a telethon with George Clooney and Wyclef Jean, set to air next Friday on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT commercial-free.

What are some of the best examples of earthquake coverage you’ve seen over the last week? The worst?

Read more: Haiti And New Media: How NPR Is Using Twitter And Facebok To Report On The Earthquake — BayNewser

ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN To Broadcast ‘Hope For Haiti’ Telethon Next Friday –TVNewser

CNN does it right, but Fox News drops the ballLos Angeles Times

According To The NYP Everything Is Fine In Haiti –Mediaite

Meacham defends Obama piece: ‘Nothing partisan about rescue and relief efforts –Politico

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