While local television has been skimping on fire coverage, the L.A. Times has been going all out. I'm planning to give props in my KCRW segment today (4:44 p.m. at 89.9 or at kcrw.com) — especially for finding the right mix between quick reporting online and the more archival role the print paper now plays. Editor Russ Stanton is effusive in a note just now to the staff, singling out the photogs and the fire map.
From: Stanton, Russ
Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 12:09 PM
Subject: Fire coverage
Every aspect of our fire coverage over the past eight days – the photography, news and enterprise reporting, rewrite, columns, editing, design and graphics, both in print and online – has been outstanding.
All of this great work came during the height of vacation season, when our staffing levels ebb. But thanks to your commitment and dedication, which included interrupted vacations, our readers were once again treated to coverage that we provide better than any other newsgathering organization.
Readers, especially those whose homes were threatened, relied on us for our steady stream of breaking news throughout each day. We also gave them the explanatory pieces to help them understand almost everything about the largest wildfire in Los Angeles County history.
In a fitting tribute to our photographers, ABC News this weekend will feature four of our photojournalists -- Wally Skalij, Al Seib, Genaro Molina and Francine Orr – who talk about some of their specific images and experiences in covering the Station fire. The interviews will be broadcast on the hour long “Good Morning America Weekend” program beginning at 6 a.m. this Sunday. The segment will be posted online after the broadcast.
Other aspects of our work also are getting noticed. The wildfire Google map, updated day and night by Ron Lin, has received rave reviews from the public and at least one web search engine expert. It also has been embedded on Weather.com’s site (click here and scroll down). The map has drawn more than 1 million page views on our site and more than 150,000 views on Google’s site, where it has spawned a forum for people discussing the fire’s progress.
Thanks for your continued commitment and hard work.
Actually, I find the map weaker because it's based on a Google map, which means outdated L.A. place references and inaccuracies.