The News and Observer has been criticized for its coverage of the explosion in Durham after a piece on damaged sports cars reached the top of Google News.

Earlier this week, a contractor hit a gas line and caused a huge explosion that killed at least one man and wounded more than a dozen others, including firefighters and other first responders.

But for people who went online to Google News, the first headline they saw was this one from the News & Observer: “Major collection of Porsche sports cars damaged in Durham explosion.”

This led many Durhamites to protest, including at least one Durham City Council member.

Overall, the N&O’s coverage was comprehensive. But the state’s newspapers still don’t appear to realize that they need to consider that every piece they publish is going to be discovered and consumed on its own, not in a broader collection of coverage.

Cover image of downtown Durham by Matt Walter via Flickr (Creative Commons)


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