When the fire starts to burn: A Cambridge Catastrophe

“More than 100 people are displaced after Cambridge fire”

Hard news is always appealing. I immediately clicked on the Cambridge fire story and was pleased to be met with a video, which launched straight into the story. The opening natural sound at the top was the fire sirens and the image zoomed into the bright orange fire with the accompanying cloud of smoke growing larger and larger. The image then changed to another angle, further away, which showed the extent of the smoke. A Boston Globe correspondent explained the surroundings on site with voice over. The correspondent then mentioned they had a Facebook Live feature, which is a pertinent feature to drive traffic and reach a wide scope of audience.

The author opens the printed story with the angle of a Bangladeshi family standing behind yellow tape to the side of their burning down house, allowing the reader to picture the poignant scene. The damage of the fire is explained along with the precise information stamps, such as the time and place of the fire, and the number of people who were displaced.

The story includes quotes from authorities such as two Cambridge Deputy Fire Chiefs, neighbours, and other nearby residents, sharing their story.

The article incorporates three photographs in addition to the video, opting for full visual and audio coverage of the story. The media included is successful in allowing the reader to fully engage in the story and feel as though he/she is present at the scene. Therefore, the coverage is saturated with both information and visual features. The correspondent mentioned a Facebook Live video, which increases the availability of the story to the reader. Other social media tools that are available to drive traffic are the options to share the story on Facebook, Twitter, Email, Google Plus, and LinkedIn to increase readership.

One of the photographs is shown below:


The comment section has contains 18 comments, some of which share similar stories or just offering condolences.

An example is shown below:


One comment from @HistoryIsJustThat reads: “Boston really needs to do something about all those old wooden framed buildings. After all these years they are nothing more than kindling. (…) Cambridge is very, very lucky this did not roar out of control.”

Having the comment section for stories such as this one is effective in offering ideas for improvement, especially if suggestions could prevent another tragic incident.



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