'Hurricane' Irene, which eventually turned out to be a tropical storm, was a natural disaster that loved the spotlight. As Howard Kurz of The Daily Beast points out, the fact that a rare hurricane was poised to strike the East Coast base of many major news operations managed to draw news coverage in the US away from the ongoing struggle in Libya in favour of non-stop storm coverage.
There's nothing strange about this: whenever unexpected bad weather strikes a major city, the media is always on high alert providing constant updates for their concerned audience.
Irene, however, is particularly interesting as the coverage, both user-generated and professional, spanned so many platforms and even temporarily altered the business models of several news organisations. Was it a 'hurricane of hype,' asked Agence France-Presse?