How Mashable Aced the Malaysian Air Story

I’ve said this before, but it’s nice to see it made particular: In calamity is opportunity, and this is true even in the tormented world that journalism world has been the past decade or so. Nieman Lab’s Joseph Lictherman reports on Mashable’s amazing move to serious coverage:

Within minutes of the first reports that a Malaysia Airlines plane had crashed over eastern Ukraine Thursday, Mashable had live coverage up and running. Its real-time news staff in New York was updating the post with videos from the scene and carefully sourced information culled from social media and other outlets; its own social accounts, including its meant-for-breaking-news @MashableLive, were busy pushing out information.

Meanwhile in Ukraine, Christopher J. Miller, a Mashable contributor, was working his sources and providing information to the main Mashable story while also writing his own piece as further developments unfolded. Miller and two editors in New York also cowrote a story highlighting leaked audio from an alleged conversation between pro-Russian rebels and Russian security forces discussing the plane. The breaking news story has been shared more than 30,000 times; Mashable’s continued updating its coverage, including dispatches from Miller filed from the crash site.

For those who remember the site’s early days — when it was a tech blog covering Web 2.0 startups — the idea of a Mashable correspondent reporting from eastern Ukraine is probably still a bit disorienting. But covering big breaking news this way has quickly become the norm for Mashable — the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the recent World Cup final, Emmy nominations, and, of course, virtually every major technology announcement.

Get the rest of this smart write-up at Nieman:  From Grumpy Cat to Ukraine: How Mashable is expanding beyond gadgets and apps » Nieman Journalism Lab