Malaysia Flight 370: News Coverage Comparison

Legacy site:  cnn.com

Online only site: KyPost.com (redirected to WCPOCincinnati)

Malaysia Flight 370 has been missing since March 8th. Since then, its mystery has made it front page news on multiple newspapers as well as the online space in not only the United States but countries around the world. Its coverage, however, does vary depending on what type of media outlet is covering the story.

Legacy Paper – CNN

CNN was the first news site to bring back results searched through Google. On Tuesday, April 01, 2014, CNN covered the breaking news about the cockpit transmissions released by the Malaysian government. It was featured in a lengthy article that first addressed the miscommunications done by the Malaysian government, followed by a link to the complete cockpit transcript, summary quotes from CNN analysts and Malaysian officials, and then a timeline of events from sources taking part in the rescue effort.

CNN’s online website coverage followed the same model that we follow in class. The story itself had a balance of hard news to keep readers up to date as well as testimony and links to more emotional news coverage of families awaiting answers which I think worked perfectly in showing both sides of the story. The website also had a sidebar that directed reviews to a number of other articles published by CNN about Malaysia Flight 370.

Online Only Paper – KyPost (Kentucky)

Kentucky’s KyPost is an online only publication that was created when the Cincinnati Post and the Kentucky Post where shut down at the end of 2007 due to declining sales. Since the publication is aimed to only residents of the Northern Kentucky region, coverage of Malaysia Flight 370, although begin international news, was not heavily promoted. You had to enter it into the search bar on the KyPost homepage.

The results that were brought back weren’t nearly as up to date as the stories found on CNN. The last story to be published on the flight was dated March 30 and no information regarding the release of the cockpit transcript was mentioned on the results page. It seems that the paper was out of date, or out of touch, with what was happening in the rest of the world which could greatly hurt readers.

One thing that was a trend on the search page (which I felt failed the website) was that a few of the stories brought back had religious subtexts to it; stories of relatives and friends who have “found faith.”

Elements that worked where more in CNN’s favor. CNN had more coverage, links in the stories to different ones, videos, and a sidebar of related topics. Kentucky’s KyPost went for a more personal approach, having stories about families and relatives of the missing passengers and more religious material then other mainstream outlets.

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