By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Covering the Annie Le tragedy

annie_le_20090914The discovery of a body believed to be that of missing Yale student Annie Le occasions a check-in on one of the more interesting non-profit online news ventures — the New Haven Independent.

Both the Independent and the city’s daily newspaper, the New Haven Register, lead with extensive coverage. The Register’s story, though, includes not a single link, either to its past coverage or to other resources. The Independent, on the other hand, features:

  • A link to a story Le wrote for a campus magazine earlier this year (above). The sadly ironic subject: how Yale students could protect themselves from crime.
  • A link to Le’s Facebook profile (protected, and thus of limited value).
  • Links to previous stories, including one by an affiliate site, CT News Junkie.
  • Videos of statements given yesterday by New Haven assistant police chief Pete Reichard and Yale president Richard Levin.

In addition, there are 13 comments appended to the Independent’s story and nine to the Register’s. I can’t say that either comment thread adds to anyone’s understanding of this tragedy, but comments are an important part of creating a community.

Both outlets did a good job with the basic journalism. The Independent, though, was much more effective at making its story more than that.

Earlier: “Non-profit journalism in New Haven” (video).

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  1. Newshound

    Paul Bass and associates have always been in this because of their enthusiasm for journalism rather than for a job, advancement, promotion, or money.

    This quality has always shined through with Paul.

  2. I agree with Newshound. Paul Bass runs the best hyperlocal online newspaper in the United States, hands-down.

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