Over the past decade, daily newspapers have grappled with the best way to cover breaking news items in print -- a medium that arrives at homes well after most subscribers already know about what took place. The five tornadoes that touched down in Colorado yesterday provided yet another test case for the Denver Post, but in my view, at least, the paper didn't find the right balance.
The Post's online site posted some fine slideshows, as well as effective twister footage similar to the many clips that have already popped up on YouTube. But instead of running its main storm article on page one, editors opted for a large, above-the-fold headline teasing the story (located inside, in the Denver & The West section), as well as its assorted web offerings. Otherwise, the cover was dominated by a report about Adams County libraries ditching the Dewey decimal system -- a topic that falls several thousand miles shy of scintillating.
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Granted, the Internet is a much more immediate way of covering events like this one. But the tornadoes were undeniably the big story of the day -- the one about which most people in the Denver area will be talking this morning. That makes the story itself front-page news despite the technological evolution of news dissemination -- at least for now. Who knows about tomorrow....