Saturday, May 19, 2007

Whale watching in Sacramento

There are a couple of whales lost in the Sacramento River here, and the Sac Bee has been covering their fate with vigor. I liked this column by Rick Rodriguez for a couple of reasons: the discussion about how we decide to allocate space and news effort, and for this discription of the range of the Bee's coverage:
Bee reporters, photographers, artists and editors have shot and posted video, interspersed with traditional photos, on our Web site, We've started an interactive map that tracks the whales and that as of Friday had drawn more than 20,000 viewers. A call to help name the whales drew 118 suggestions and in a close vote of some 300 readers, the names Delta Dawn and Sunny won. We asked you to help write a piece of fiction about the whales and a nice little tale has evolved. We've reached into our electronic archives to post old stories about Humphrey, background about humpbacks and audio of their feeding calls, all on And we're updating the story several times a day.

What does it take to do all of that? ... On any given day, we've had up to five reporters, five photographers, three multimedia journalists, two graphic artists and a host of others working the story ... Is it worth it?

Personally, I'd say yes.

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