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2017 Breaking News, Large Newsroom finalist

Terror Attack in Nice, France

About the Project

The New York Times coverage of the terrorist attack in Nice, France, is an illustration of how The Times is utilizing multiple story forms to convey different aspects of breaking news stories.

Within an hour and a half of the attack, which occurred at about 4:30 p.m. Eastern, The Times published the first version of the news story that would be updated more than 100 times over the next 24 hours.

About three hours after the attack, the next piece was published: a visual story using maps and photographs that explained what happened. This piece was also updated through the evening.

About five hours after the attack, The Times published another piece titled, “What We Know, and What We Don’t” that was a bulleted list to help readers sort out fact from speculation. Part of the intent of this form is to be direct with readers about what can and cannot be known in a rapidly developing story.

As the coverage developed into the early evening, it was clear we needed a way to give readers a better sense of the scene of the attack, which extended over a mile of a scenic promenade on the southern coast of France.

A team of 13 graphics editors, worked overnight to recreate the path of the truck using photographs and videos from the wires and social media, as well as feeds from Times reporters on the scene in Nice.

The result was an interactive reconstruction of what happened overlaid on a panorama of the promenade, which was published at 4:30 a.m. the next morning, less than 12 hours after the attack.