Winter storm rips through Northeast


CNN’s coverage of the severe and apparently deadly Northeast winter storm provided an accessible and well-organized report of its wide-reaching effects. The lede follows the standard inverted pyramid style, stating what caused this mass destruction and what the exact consequences were. All in the first sentence we find out that the storm is still going on, it is causing major traffic hazards, there were eight deaths and tens of thousands of people are out of power.

After a short intro describing the specifics about the amount of snow accumulated, the story breaks up into three distinct subheads with clear topics. This sort of organization helps the reader, especially if he or she is in a rush or scrolling through the news quickly on their phone (which is where I first came across this story), to quickly acquire the information they want to know about the storm, whether that be about the traffic patterns or the victims it claimed.

It is no accident that the first subhead, “8 related deaths,” comes before the others. Death is always the first and most important aspect of a story (if it pertains to the story). To not mention a death that occurred as a result of the topic of your story is probably one of the biggest blunders a journalist can make. The first item describes the cause of each of the eight victims’ deaths in a short, to-the-point brief.

The next item, entitled “Traffic nightmare, airport delays in New York,” describes the chaos on the roads, which is the next most important topic after death. After all, safety is crucial in these types of storms. They quoted the police and travelers and included Instagram shots of icy roads and an over-crowded Newark airport.

The final item is entitled “Weather forces students to wait in schools,” which rightfully comes last as it is not as severe as death or traffic hazards.

Overall, the formatting of the story, sources used and news media aspect of this story provide an extremely thorough and easy to navigate overview of a tragic and brutal storm.