Posted by: victoriahaiboniuk | October 10, 2016


While reading the news on the News Engagement Day, I picked a story about hurricane Matthew to share with my friends and family in Ukraine. According to BBC, Matthew was the strongest hurricane to hit the Caribbean in a decade.  The hurricane caused huge destruction in Haiti, where hundreds of people died and tens of thousands of homes were destroyed.

I told the story to my father, my sister, my friends, and my colleague, who is a journalist. First, I shared the news with my dad (48) on Skype, and he immediately started looking for more. He used to consume news mostly from TV, radio and newspapers, but after becoming more familiar with computer, he prefers online media. So, when I first asked him if he heard anything about the hurricane, he answered – “I will google it now.”

When I thought how to make the story relevant to my 12-year old sister, I decided to tell her what happened in general terms, using a map to show where the disaster happened, and pictures to explain its scale.

Most of my friends and my colleague were already aware to some extend of what happened from social media. Nevertheless, I sent them articles with detailed explanations, photos and videos.

This particular story made me think how to get people to listen and sympathize with something that happened far away. I decided to use pictures, numbers and personal stories. I also considered age, background, education and media preferences of the audience.

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