Malaysia Flight 370 – 1 year later

Many publications cover the same story in a breaking news situation. Who does it better? Below is a summary of coverages of Malaysia Flight 370 by a newspaper, broadcast and blog.

1. Newspaper Website-

Search beacon battery had expired on Flight 370 was published by USA TODAY at 6:32 p.m. on March, 8, 2015.

The piece starts with a timeline video that covers 1 year of Flight 370 news from March 8, 2014 when Flight 370 took off until this January when the Malaysian government declared the disappearance an accident with no survivors. One thing that I liked a lot about the story was that in linked to the interim report, or the safety investigation for Flight MH370, that it and the other following stories cite frequently.

The story was written by Calum MacLeod, of USA TODAY, who was in Beijing on the one year anniversary of the disappearance of the flight. Because the Gannett Company is a huge company, USA TODAY has the resources to have reporters in foreign bureaus. MacLeod also took her own photos for the story.

At the bottom of the page there is a small gallery of Getty Images photos.

Overall the story was shared a lot : Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 9.12.03 AM

2. Broadcast Website-

MH370 One Year On: What Can Boeing 777 Flight Simulator Tell Us? by NBC News was first published at 5:19 am on March 8, 2015.

The story includes three videos and text with highlights from the first video about what may have happened to the plane based on the little information available. 

The story was tweeted out at 3:13 p.m. rather than when it was originally published at 5:19 a.m. because it was more likely to get views and shares in the afternoon. 

The second video titled, “Listen to Air Traffic Control Interaction With Flight MH370,” allows viewers to listen to 7 minutes of the pilots talking back and forth with air traffic control. The last video is reporter Lester Holt with a pilot learning how simple it is for a plane to be turned off course.

3. Blog Website-

The Slatest’s MH370: Plane’s Underwater Locator Beacon Battery Expired One Year Before Disappearance was originally published on March 8, 2015, at  11:29 a.m. The author uses photos from Getty Images to break up his text. The text often cites other news publications such as the Associated Press, BBC, Reuters and the Sydney Morning Herald. When you highlight text on the blog you are given the option to share the highlighted text to Facebook or Twitter. There are 20 comments, 10 Tweets and 9 Facebook shares.

Blogs have followers that they want to start a conversation with. Slatest had its viewers talking about Flight 370.
Blogs have followers that they want to start a conversation with. Slatest had its viewers talking about Flight 370.

These 3 publications covered the story the way they are supposed to. The newspaper website had thorough text and an informative slideshow video, the broadcast website had a long package covering all aspects of the story and the blog cited other publications in a way that still allowed the story to flow.

All 3 headlines had 370 in it. NBC was the only one that didn’t lead with the battery expiration, but took a more broad view at what had been learned over the last year. If I had to rank the three I would rank it NBC, USA TODAY and then Slatest.

Slatest did not come up in the search as easily as NBC and USA TODAY. I think the best coverage floated to the top of the search engine in this case. I think NBC had the fullest coverage and didn’t just focus on the battery of the black box being expired.


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