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Best of the Day: 3 must-haves for a fatal crash (10/17/11)
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A crash in Peoria left three people dead. Check out three simple things you can do to help readers know what's going on.
Oct. 17, 2011 12:01 a.m.

The Peoria Journal Star covered a fatal car crash. If it happens in your town, would you have these three elements?

WHAT THEY DID: The most basic online story -- breaking news in your town -- can be handled in a pretty straightforward way. Peoria covers the basics well in a story about a car crash that killed three people.

STEP 1: People want to know immediately what happened, so you'll want to post information as quickly as you can get it confirmed.

STEP 2: Once you determine exactly where the accident happened, post a map. You can use the map function in Zope (add location), or you can use Google maps to plot an accident's location, then grab the embed code and post it wherever you want it to appear in the story. Remember to click on source in the Zope story area, paste the embed code, then click on source again.

STEP 3: As soon as you have several photos of the accident scene, you'll want to post a photo gallery and link it to the story. Peoria also links three photos to the story to maximize page views.

TAKEAWAY: For any breaking news story, be sure you update quickly, add a map and add a photo gallery. Make that a part of your routine each time you cover breaking news. If you can to a scene where something is happening, for example someone is being rescued or firefighters are battling a blaze, be sure to add video to the mix.


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