28 February 2008

‘Quaking News’ Draws Web Traffic

Breaking news stories about Wednesday morning’s earthquake attracted traffic from around the world to local news websites.

The news editor at the Nottingham Evening Post revealed that the site received almost 2,000 visitors between 01:00 and 02:00, and staff uploaded breaking news within half an hour of the quake.

Steven Fletcher told holdthefrontpage.co.uk: “Because the epicentre was so near to Nottingham, people were logging on from as far away as Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan.”

The site also saw a dramatic increase in user-generated content as visitors were keen to share their experiences online.

Also enjoying an influx of stories from readers was the Skegness Standard, which has a page dedicated to local people telling their earthquake stories.

It was a similar story at the Grimsby Telegraph, which had more than 70 posts from users by 11:00 on Wednesday morning.

Staff broke the news online within five minutes of the tremors and headed out before daybreak to film the fire brigade attending to damaged houses at the epicentre near Market Rasen.

One of the videos features journalist Gareth Parry-Jones interviewing a fire chief as his crew attend to unsafe buildings and talking to a Tesco store spokesperson about his experience of the quake close to the epicentre.

Editor Michelle Lalor asserted: “This was a truly remarkable response from the news team in Grimsby and just shows how we can react to be at the centre of a major news story - our digital and print coverage has been first class.”

Further details on the Telegraph’s impressive text and video coverage can be found here.

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