Today's tragedy in Hudson in which a fuel tanker crashed and exploded on I-94 provides us with another opportunity to play "You Are Editor." What's the top angle in the crash: That I-94 was closed or that the driver was killed?
Here's how various news sites played it this morning:
The Star Tribune:
I'm with WCCO on this one. A sad loss of life should outweigh driver inconvenience.
Does there really need to be a "top" angle? It seems like both angles are very important.
The NEWS can serve multiple functions:
- report "relevant" events that have occurred
- alert the public to action that they can take to improve the quality of their lives.
Was it "relevant" that the truck driver was killed?
394 traffic fatalities in Minnesota in 2011. Each and every death was relevant to someone. And ask not for whom the bell tolls. Are all traffic deaths covered to this extent? Nope.
Was the closing of the highway relevant? Yup. Does it help people to know about it so that they can take action? Yup.
The highway closing is the major NEWS.
And the explosion and fire is the money shot for the tv and still photography components of the NEWS industries.
// Does there really need to be a "top" angle?
Yes, because you have limited headline space so you've got to pick one. One avenue out would be "Fatal truck explosion closes highway."