07 October 2008

LA Times Creates Train Crash Database

A database holding information on victims of a rail disaster was recently created for a breaking news story by staff at the LA Times.

Journalists and a database producer began work on the multimedia resource as details were still emerging from the crash site, reports Poynter Online.

The interactive database holds information on the 25 fatalities in the head-on collision, including photos, status, hometown and where they were sat in the train.

According to its creators, the database has become a “genuine community forum” as the weeks have passed with family and friends leaving tributes on obituary pages and in the comments sections.

California editor David Lauter also revealed that it has attracted 850,000 page views and more than 1,500 comments.

The LA Times used the open-source application Django to create the database to deadline.

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