Exactly one year after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared while en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, a 584-page report found that the battery in the black box locator beacon inside of the plane expired in December 2012 and had not been replaced since.
Many news outlets, including NPR’s “The Two-Way,” Fox News and USA Today, have covered the one-year anniversary in general, but these three in particular focused their posts, at one point or another, on the expired black box.
Broadcast: Fox News‘ website did not have a video included in the post about the Malaysian flight disappearance, though it is a broadcast news outlet. This article, which was reported by the Associated Press, in particular spent the most time discussing the report’s findings about the battery and backs up the whole idea behind the piece. Though the other news outlets include the battery’s expiration, they do not go as in-depth with it as they possibly could. This article did a good job in informing the public about the lack of regard and necessity for the battery being changed, which can definitely make travelers wonder whether or not the black box in the plane on their next flight is working properly. The headline used, though true, is very wordy and does not have keywords placed at the beginning of it.
Newspaper: In the USA Today article published about the battery expiration, the publication took a slightly different approach when compared to the other two news outlets. Yes, the article is about the black box and the one-year anniversary of the flight’s disappearance, but it also gives a different perspective on it. There is a human interest component in this story, which adds a deeper, more personal layer to it. The headline on this article was dull and general, though it was one of the first to pop up when “Flight MH370” was searched.
Blog: “The Two-Way,” a blog on NPR’s website, posted an article about the flight, writing mostly about the continued search efforts for the plane, rather than the battery itself. This post touched every area — human interest, the key concern of the battery and what lies ahead for a continued search — but never goes deep enough in any direction to be hard-hitting. The approach of trying to include anything and everything while lightly touching each subject is not effective. The headline, however, is effective in getting the point across and includes the keyword “MH370” right in the beginning of it.
I do not think any of these publications really hit the nail on the head when it comes to having every aspect of this story — headline, social media usage and story. Overall, I would say that despite the very poor headline, USA Today used the best approach when reporting. I think it’s important to make a story relatable and something people can feel connected to. USA Today also has a large Twitter following, with over 1.5 million followers, which helps in social media traction and getting more post views.