Breaking News

I have today off, but I wanted to leave you this thought before I took the day off.

Thursday morning was a first for me. While I have been involved in breaking news coverage that interrupts regular programming ( remember Big Ben’s motorcycle accident ), I had never been asked to play such an important role in covering such a huge tragedy.

Thursday’s flooding from those sudden storms forced me into the anchor chair to solo anchor the coverage which lasted upwards of two hours. Since Kelly was out on a story at the time, it was just me and Don Schwenneker. Don is a real pro and a gentle and steadying hand when weather-related events take place. I could not have gotten through our coverage without him.

While on camera it may seem calm and planned, behind the scenes it’s crazy. Producers working to confirm information and then get that information to you to present to the audience. We also did not have video of the flooding immediately and had to rely on pictures from viewers as well as videos — including that dramatic video of the house on fire after being struck by lightning. Never did I realize how critical the viewers as videographers could be in the process of telling a story.

When it was all said and done, I thought we did a good job as a news organization presenting the story as it was happening – and perhaps I showed myself something in the process. I learned that maybe I do have the skills to be a news anchor. The most important thing we can do as anchors is handle breaking news situations. By all accounts, I did OK .. and I’ll be better next time.

Finally, I know we probably got many phone calls about breaking into “Regis and Kelly” and whatever we show at 10am. For those people who called into gripe and complain, let me tell you something: Our job is to first and foremost inform our viewers when disaster hits our region. That is the public trust we have as a television station and anything less would be shirking our responsibilities. We don’t do it often, but when we do please understand – it’s for the greater good.

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