Dorner manhunt coverage wins DFMie for LANG

Headline: Christopher Dorner's 10 days of terror
Outlet: Los Angeles News Group
Journalist: Los Angeles News Group staff

One story stood out so clearly in the Los Angeles News Group that Executive Editor Michael Anastasi didn’t nominate anything else. The DFMie for the LANG cluster goes to the team that covered the rampage, manhunt and eventual death of former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner.

Anastasi explains:

At its height, 80 journalists were deployed on this story, which impacted every corner of the LANG footprint. Our primary efforts were directed at this digitally, though coverage in print was strong as well.

LANG achieved a number of record traffic milestones. Day 1 traffic was 1,648,851 page views and the total for Days 1 and 2 was 3,082,352, the largest two-day total in LANG history. Overall page views for the first week of Dorner coverage was a LANG-record 8,803,707, an average of 1,257,672 a day. Average audience was up 34 percent February over January, and we exceeded our monthly growth total (normally 500,000) by nearly 2 million.

We enjoyed particular success with our liveblogs. We deployed two, our main Dorner blog in which minute-by-minute news updates were fed, and the second for coverage of the first slain officer’s funeral. The first blog attracted 498,545 unique users – that’s a half-million – who generated 742,190 page views and 4,683,769 engagement minutes, all LANG records for live coverage. Our second live blog, of officer Michael Crain’s funeral, resulted in 52,062 unique users, 70,802 page views and 339,694 engagement minutes. Our video results were also substantial: 68,845 views in February, an increase of 147 percent of average monthly views of 2012.

Also, this final wrap-up story was packaged beautifully and was well-done by the reporting staff. Lastly, here is a Storify of our social content (this is an early version; hopefully by the time you read this the final version will be ready). Our social reporting was the strongest of any LANG news event.

Judges agreed that the Dorner coverage was so stellar that competition for the month’s top award would be pointless:

Wow. What can say other than that this was extraordinary journalism from every angle. I don’t think there were any stones left unturned from the thorough, in-depth, informative coverage to the various videos that covered the manhunt itself to press conferences to candlelight vigils to the funeral.

I especially liked the videos, which captured all the drama and featured some good shots like the closeups of the badges of all law enforcement represented at the funeral.

This is journalism at its best. Kudos to the entire team for tackling this dramatic story so well.

Another judge:

The impressive coverage of the Christopher Dorner manhunt from LANG excelled not only because of the incredibly comprehensive package — broken by day and through the use of interactive tools like TimelineJS, Maps, Meograph, photos, videos, you name it — but also because it was relentlessly covered live as it developed. But further, the coverage provided needed context and it served the community’ needs.

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