Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy Commands the Stage

by Sara Nealeigh

Hurricane Sandy has taken center stage.

Not only is she currently doing a dangerous dance over eastern coast, but she has made herself comfortable in the spotlight of the front page of the ABC News website.

A majority of the articles on not only their main page, but also on their politics page, talk about the impacts Sandy will have.

But what will it impact more: the east coast, or the election?

ABC's Politics has posted an article about how the hurricane's path has changed the campaign trail, forcing candidates to change travel plans, and how President Obama is changing his focus from the election to Sandy.

Screen shot of homepage
ABC's main page is flooded (literally) with pictures and stories covering Sandy and how she has and will continue to take a toll on east coast cities. There is also a live news feed on the top of the page, tracking the storm throughout the day.

With Sandy demanding so much of the attention of national media, I also wonder how will local ABC stations handle the constant flow of information from both the hurricane and campaign trail?

WJLA, an ABC station in Washington D.C., shows little to no sign of election coverage. Being in the direct path of Sandy's wrath, that almost makes sense. But they are also the political capital of the nation, and nothing about the election is mentioned until a small politics tab about a quarter of the way down their homepage.

The majority of their front page stories are weather related as well.

KGO broadcasts to the Bay Area of California, which includes cities like San Francisco, election coverage is nowhere to be found. Their main page consists of Sandy, the Giants new World Series title, and area Halloween events.

Screenshot: WLS (Chicago) homepage
In Chicago, WLS's homepage is eerily similar to KGO's, with no election coverage on the main page. It's only after venturing into their politics tab that one finds national's headlines and some local election stories.

It seems that most local and national coverage is focused on the potential natural disaster, as it should be, but the attention on the election is not completely lost.

No comments: