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Storms in York, Pa.: ‘You all have done a great job of covering this snow-and-cold-blasted county’

The York, Pa., Daily Record’s Paul Kuehnel captured what is certain to be an iconic moment in the storms of 2013-2014.  ‘@JamesMcClure someone tweeted me that it reminds them of a beach, which I didn’t see before they mentioned it but it does!’ Paul wrote.

We’re blessed at the York Daily Record with all kinds of sophisticated social media tools to cover these recent storms – digital stuff like ScribbleLive, Storify, Geofeedia, Tout and the best name of all (coming soon): Ooyala.

But now and then, you revert to old ways – our manual record keeping method to measure total inch count. And we repurpose old tools for new uses – the pica stick in the snow.

But really, the future is now, and we’re able to cover more news for more readers than ever before with our long digital reach – arms that are growing every day as you follow, friend and access our coverage.

Modern newsrooms are now in the business of telling readers what is happening right now in their communities.

Journalists are said to produce the first rough draft of history. Let’s just call what we do today in our digital world an instantaneous first draft of history.

So all this creates a big challenge when facing, say, the slew of snowstorms that have afflicted the region this year.
Technology can help us to be current up to the second.


Throughout this series of storms, YDR.com has kept what’s called a liveblog pulling in your weather-related Facebook, Twitter and other social media posts into one place. It’s a bit like the scroll at the bottom of your TV screen, but you can read it at your own pace.

The YDR continues to ramp up its usage of this social media tool to cover live events. It’s becoming increasingly popular. We know this because we see the stats.

In the first three days since the ice storm, 150 of you are engaging with this blog at any one time. In that three-day period, readers spent 85,307 minutes or about 60 days on this site, learning about the aftermath of this destructive winter storm.


After the ice storm, the YDR opened the York Daily Recharge opened at our 1891 Loucks Road newsroom to give folks without power the opportunity to charge their phones — and even their electric razors.

We received lots of applause on Facebook, but no one has yet tapped into our electricity.

We plan to open our conference room, with power strips and a backup generator in place, in this manner after storms that create a need for folks to recharge their mobile devices and/or simply to warm up.


Our newspaper carriers, of course, strive to deliver the York Daily Record/Sunday News even in the worst storms.

So it’s gratifying to receive a note like this from Shelly Axe on Facebook: “Got my paper today in my driveway! My delivery person is wonderful and very much appreciated!”


Early on in last Thursday’s storm — at about 4 a.m. — one of our journalists headed to the office on cross country skis.
Stephanie Reighart lives near York Hospital and skied the four miles to our West Manchester Township plant in 75 minutes.

She wasn’t alone on her trek. She wore a GoPro camera strapped to her head.

You can see what she saw on http://bcove.me/iin28ljm.


Like Stephanie, our journalists have been to the three corners of York County (we live in a triangular-shaped county) and beyond in covering these storms.

Their efforts drew words of praise from YDR managing editor Randy Parker:

“After getting a break for the past two winters, nature is evening things out,” he wrote. “You all have done a great job of covering this snow-and-cold-blasted county this year …”

He wrote this with Thursday’s storm on its way toward our coverage area.

A core value at the YDR for 25 years is that our staff makes it to work in bad weather.

Some journos might actually not work here in the office but go mobile in covering the mess.

At times like this, we’re blessed to be within walking distance of the Holiday Inn. Our journalists — first responders in the mold of fire and law enforcement officers — get here, even when the rest of York County is shut down.

As Randy wrote in his note, “Our readers need you here.”



Editor’s note: This York Sunday News column (2/16/14) is mostly a compilation of past YorkTownSquare.com and YdrInsider posts.