Being Breaking News

I love breaking news.

When I worked at the weekly paper last year I focused on health and education and whatever else was thrown my way. However, breaking news was really not one emphasized, since I worked at a paper only published once a week news didn’t really break with us.

Most news was old news.

Well, since starting at the daily I was the night cops/breaking news reporter and now I’ve become the day reporter for cops/breaking news/whatever comes my way.

Most breaking news though is not as exciting as it sounds. It’s mostly me going out to car accidents and taking pictures, or asking fire departments to send me pictures of fires they responded to that I didn’t hear about until the fire was out.

Well Thursday this was not one of those days.

We got a tip that dozens of police cars were zooming into a nearby trail. I was on it calling every source I had and found out that two hikers had gotten stranded during a flash flood and were holding to a tree with water rushing by.

This, I knew, was what my job was all about.

Sadly, the scene was about an hour from the newsroom, so the photographer and I were off hoping the best for the stranded guys but also hoping in the back of our minds that maybe they could hold off on rescuing them until we got there — we’re terrible, I know.

We get there and find out the guys have already been rescued but there still around, we can still talk to them, get a photo and some video. Yes!

It turned out to be a great story full of intense moments, thoughts of dying and a heroic rescue. It was definitely worth the two-hour drive there and back.

Breaking news, it beats everything every time.

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One response to “Being Breaking News

  1. I can understand the emotions and adrenalin that comes from such reports. I used to cover stuff like this, even at weeklies and other non-daily newspapers. It really didn’t matter to me the frequency of the publication — my focus was always on getting the story. The luxury for me was when I had a little more time to write the story and make it even better. The excitement came when stories such as burning hotels came on my Saturday deadline and I had to drop everything to shoot the photos myself, write the story myself and then redesign the front page of the newspaper and a couple other pages to get our Sunday paper out.
    Or imagine the “excitement” of trying to get the news (as the weekly newspaper was being laid out) of covering the story of a family stranded in a snow storm 60 miles from the nearest town and it’s snowing at the rate of about a foot an hour!
    Don’t ever think that breaking news only happens in daily newspaper markets, or that a good story such as this can only appear in a daily newspaper. I worked predominantly in non-dailies and covered all sorts of natural and man-made disasters that made the newspaper where I shot the photos, wrote the story and ran from the flames when the wind shifted on the forest fire.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

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