Hit and Run accident on Whittier Blvd, Whittier Daily News reports nothing

Hit and Run accident on Whittier Blvd, Whittier Daily News reports nothing

Monday 10/4/2010 there was a hit and run accident on Whittier Blvd in Whittier CA. It was close to 6:00pm when I arrived at the Whittwood Town Center entrance of Santa Gertrudes and Whittier Blvd heading eastbound. When I arrived at the stop light I was roughly 4 car from the front of the line and from my perspective I couldn’t see the front of the line nor across the street. While waiting for the light to change I heard a very loud crash followed by a second crash and then finally the noise of someone peeling out. From what I could tell the car was unable to get free and I continued to hear a random mix of noises including crashing and peeling out until I finally heard 1 exotic blue colored car head west bound on Whittier Blvd zip past and then another car (most likely the one attempting to free its self) drove erratically and also peeling out heading into the Whittwood Town Center. A few cars in the front of the line followed him  and took chase. The street light changed to green and drivers around me were confused as to what just happened. We all drove by the west bound accident and noticed a car and a blue truck smashed into one another. The driver of the truck was a 40-50 something man who was distrut and using his cellphone while shaking his head in disbelief.

When I got home I looked on Twitter to see if anyone posted anything about the accident and there was nothing. I checked the Whittier Daily News and @whittierdaily on twitter and nothing was there either. I wasnt expecting the local newspaper to magically post something 10 minutes after it occurred; on Tuesday 10/5 I checked Whittier Daily News at 7am and there was nothing to be found reported about this event. I did notice that on their mobile site (see image above) that other people searched for info regarding this accident as well. I checked later at 11:29 and more people were looking for something about this accident and there was nothing. At 4:52 I looked again and still nothing. It’s now Wednesday night and still nothing on their website. Odd.

I know what you are thinking: “Why does he even care? I bet he doesn’t even read or subscribe to the Whittier Daily News”. I don’t subscribe to this or any other newspaper and any news I get is stickily via the TV or the internet be it news websites or social/new media. Old media such as the Whittier Daily News just doesnt get it and here is why: When I want up to the second news on something that just occurred Twitter and Facebook are usually the two places I look at to see what info other have posted about. Granted none of it has been screened for accuracy but you get what you get for up to the second reporting. Whittier Daily News just isn’t listening to it’s readers and obviously for days people have been loading up their search page on their mobile devices and searching for: “Accident by whittwood town center” “Car accident on Whittier Blvd” and “Whittwood town center car accident” and are getting these results:

Really, come on now SGVN…? I searched for a car accident and I’m getting results that aren’t all that relevant to what I’m searching for. You lost that reader and they most likely ran off to google news to start searching there.

Here is my thought process on this: If you are a news gathering and distribution agency why are you not looking at the free data that your readers (paid and free) are giving you when visiting your website? This data is in a database obviously so why not analyze this data and have one of your intern copywriters write a short stub post stating that the event occurred and a “Click here to be notified if more info becomes available” or “Follow us on X Y Z Social network and be notified when this article is updated with new info”. Once you have real data on the event go back in and edit the article and send out an update to the social networking services you are tied into indicating that new info it available. This is lead generating content here ripe for the picking. This is almost the equivalent to “Trending Topics” on Twitter. Be smart, use this data to your advantage and get to reporting.

The main take away from this, SGVN, San Gabriel Valley Tribune or Whittier Daily News is that you should try harder to save the readers you have on your site and hopefully they will come back. It’s one thing to have compelling content but it’s another thing if I can’t even find what you are looking for or be notified of when it becomes fully available. If I was 4 cars closer my @jasontucker twitter account at 140 chars would have had more info available than the non existant article your site(s) had regarding this event.

SGVN, are you hiring? I have ideas, contact me.