By PATRICIA SANTANA
On April 5, a University of Miami student drove his car into a canal connected to Lake Osceola.
University and Coral Gables police responded to the call at approximately 8:30 p.m. There were no injuries. The student’s car, a silver Nissan convertible, was fished out of the lake by a crane.
Officers on the said told Miami Hurricane reporters that the driver lost control of the car while cutting another driver off to enter a parking space. He was described as “driving too fast for road conditions.” A concrete parking barrier on Stanford Drive was destroyed when the car jumped the curb.
The Miami Hurricane did an excellent job at reporting this story. Their initial coverage was a “breaking news” Facebook post. The newspaper does these kinds of Facebook posts often, making them a convenient source to check immediately in the aftermath of an incident.
The Facebook post was very brief, stating simply that a car drove into the canal by the Whitten University Center, that there was no information on passengers or injuries, and that updates would be forthcoming. The post was accompanied by a slideshow of pictures taken at the scene, adding a compelling and informative visual element to the story.
The post was later updated as promised. The update mentioned that there were no injuries, that the driver was a UM student, and that the driver was speeding.
A news article was posted very quickly by The Miami Hurricane. It included a number of relevant quotes from police on the scene and from Pat Whitely, the vice president of Student Affairs.
The Miami Herald also reported on the story. While it is a very local story to Coral Gables, it makes sense that the Herald would report on it since it is unusual, and many outside of the Coral Gables area are interested in what occurs on the UM campus. The Herald pulled most of its information from the Hurricane, illustrating the reach and influence student news media can achieve when the reporting is reliable, well-written, and well-managed.