FIU bridge news reporting shifts focus


On March 15, the pedestrian bridge being built over the intersection of SW Eighth Street and SW 109th Avenue near the Florida International University campus unexpectedly collapsed.

There were six deaths, including an 18-year-old student at FIU and a worker for the bridge inspection company.

The story received a lot of national coverage and was featured prominently on major news media such as The New York Times and CNN. While those sites continue to periodically post stories, they have toned down their coverage as other stories emerge. This is in stark contrast to the Miami Herald, which continues to prominently feature the story on its site. This difference makes sense, since the story is a local tragedy in Miami and thus will be more relevant to the readership of the Miami Herald.

The coverage the Miami Herald has given the story has evolved. Initially, the coverage focused on providing updates on the death toll and posting videos of the collapse recorded by bystanders. There were also articles coming out on the history of the construction company and design firm behind the bridge and past projects of theirs, which continue to come out now. The coverage now is focusing more on the emotional impact the collapse has had on the survivors and on remembering the victims. There is also a greater volume of speculative articles regarding possible causes of the collapse.