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Spotlight on Local News: Covering the “Bomb Cyclone”

By Silvana Ordoñez, News Partnerships

A colossal winter storm, also known as the “bomb cyclone,” hit the East Coast hard with bone-chilling temperatures, heavy snow and travel chaos, causing school cancellations and many to work from home.

What was it like outside of our homes? You probably didn’t have to wonder much if you followed the coverage by local news outlets.

Using CrowdTangle, we compiled some high-performing posts from the storm posted on Facebook. Most were video posts and Facebook Live broadcasts. These videos mainly generated two types of reactions: Wow, driven by unusual events like snow in Florida, and Love, generated by heart-warming posts and stunning images.

1. The CBS affiliate WPRI 12 showed a video of a horse named Cappy joyously playing in the snow in a farm in Rhode Island. The post prompted many viewers to post photos and videos of their four-legged loved ones playing in the snow.

 

2. NBC affiliate WETC News took its viewers to a beach near Wilmington, North Carolina, covered in snow.

 

3. CBS affiliate WCSC Live 5 News showed a video of a resident sledding on a tree in downtown Charleston. Followers then shared photos of their own snow-day fun.

 

4. Community newspaper Cape Gazette published a photo-gallery with its reader-submitted photos of the snow in the Cape region in Delaware.

 

5. ABC affiliate WMUR-TV 9 showed its viewers a Pennsylvania’s man’s creativity when it came to cleaning up the snow. He attached a cardboard flat-screen TV box to a lawn mower and created his own snow plow.

 

6. Savannah Morning News went live to take its audience on a tour around Forsyth Park to showcase unprecedented snowfall in real-time and conduct impromptu interviews with locals. Check out how excited this reporter was to get this assignment.

 

7. NBC 6 put together a montage of Florida’s rare snow day. Last time the sunshine-state’s capital saw snow was 28 years ago.

 

8. WFMY News 2 took its viewers on a ride along the snowed streets in Charleston, South Carolina.

 

9. ABC affiliate WMTW-TV 8 got a lot of attention when it posted a video from an Instagram user showing a dog sledding on a hill.

 

10. Fox 5 New York shared a viewer’s video, which captured a deer taking a bite from a snow-covered bush in the middle of the storm.

 

11. CW affiliate WISH-TV 8’s meteorologist Marcus Bailey used Facebook Live to interact with the audience and answer questions from the community about the impact of the storm in Indiana.

 

12ABC 7 took New Yorkers to Times Square via a 360 video to capture every angle of one of the city’s most iconic spots.

 

13. Fox 29 shared what will surely make it to its blooper reel. Reporter Steve Keeley got blasted by snow from a snow plow driving through his live shot. Thankfully he and his crew were unharmed!