Natural disasters coverages


Zero Hora, November 25th, 2008


As the climate is changing, journalists should be prepared for more natural disasters coverages (does it sound too tragic?). This kind of story can be more complete with users’ contents. 

In last November, more than a hundred people died in flooding and landslides in the state of Santa Catarina, south of Brazil. In that time, I was reading one of the first texts to Journalism 2.0 course, which mentioned a winter flooding coverage with a blog and Google Maps. I’d been wondering how did they use it. 

Simple: create a separate map and upload the items with adresses, information and photos, like The Bellingham Herald, from Washington state, did, answered me Mark Briggs, the course’s teacher (his new company developed a social mapping tool which allows reports to map their stories and photos, and ask readers to contribute as well). used Google Maps to report the Santa Catarina’s tragedy too and have lots of readers’ contribution to “Reader Reporter” section.

Later I’ve found a example of Des Moines Register, using map-based storytelling, I really like that. After a tornado in Parkersburg, Iowa, part of the city had been destroyed. This map shows the rebuilding houses with the owners’ report and some pictures and videos. To share their stories, readers have sent an e-mail to the newspaper, but there’re map-based storytellings which the users can add a content. 

Another nice example is, with a special site for a flood coverage. That’s very interesting ’cause all contents (map, videos, pictures) were in the same place, ‘designed togheter’ – it’s more organized, in my opinion.


Map on Des Moines Register


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