LA Stations Break Away from Traditional Reporting for ‘Carmageddon’ Weekend

By Merrill Knox Comment


For 36 hours this weekend, the 405 freeway was shut down in both directions, leaving the normally-gridlocked Los Angeles in a state of traffic-induced panic deemed “Carmageddon.” LA stations added extra coverage across multiple platforms to inform viewers — relying on social media as a reporting tool in addition to their regular coverage.

KNBC was using a Skype-like technology called LiveU to broadcast live full-resolution Internet video on the air and on their website. The NBC O&O also sent people out into the field to file reports from their cars — like the one from Stephanie Stanton, above — using a cell phone camera.

KCBS, the CBS O&O, had a time-lapse camera on their website — and a crew sleeping in a truck near the Mullholland Drive bridge all weekend, according to The Los Angeles Times. The station, which took care to avoid the word “Carmageddon,” did not want to “worry about getting crews in and out,” news director Scott Diener said.

As we reported earlier this month, KABC has teamed up with WAZE, a traffic app that uses social networking to provide real-time information about road conditions. The influx of this data helped the ABC O&O report traffic on roads where there were no cameras.