For Boston-area viewers, the Boston Marathon bombings were arguably the most important news story of the decade. Each station provided extensive coverage of the situation, which broke down like this:
According to TVSpy, On Monday, WBZ was the first to report the news, cutting in at 2:57 with Paula Ebben and Bobby Sisk at the desk and Lisa Hughes on the scene via phone. 7News was the second, cutting in at 2:59 with Adam Williams in studio and Janet Wu reporting via phone. NewsCenter5 broke in at 3:00 with Liz Brunner in studio and Sean Kelly on the phone. Fox25 was last to cut in at 3:03, immediately having photog Matt Tomlin reporting via phone.
Other outlets on the scene also reported the bombings, with NECN quickly cutting in. Reporters from the Globe, present at the finish line, witnessed the bombs detonate, while their RadioBDC outlet was broadcasting from the Forum restaurant, near the site of the second explosion. DJ Adam-12 tweeted the news at 2:54 after witnessing the scene.
As the day unfolded, stories of families of reporters at the finish line began to show up on the air. 7’s Steve Cooper was running the marathon at the time of the explosion, which he details on the stations website. Ditto for WBZ’s Paul Burton, whose wife was able to record video at the scene.
In a bizarre twist, Fox25’s sister station in Atlanta was the first station in the country to acquire images of the pressure cooker bomb. For Fox25, this seemed to highlight the limitations of their network-owned position, as the station was already hampered by their limited coverage of the situation.
On Wednesday, WCVB was the first local affil to report that an arrest was imminent. They were, however, receiving their information from CNN, which later recanted the statement. Janet Wu, the source, maintained her position that an arrest was imminent.
By the time news broke of the shooting at MIT on Thursday night, every outlet in the country was at the ready. 7’s Adam Williams, reporting from the shootout scene in Watertown, was a shining star throughout the ordeal. Trapped in the crossfire, Williams faithfully reported through the night into Friday. In an on-air phone call with the station, Williams remarked, “I’ve never in my life been in a situation like this … clearly we’re not in a situation where police would want us, but we can’t get out right now.” By the end of the day, a Facebook fan page had sprung up in support of Williams’ reporting throughout the situation, which now has close to 3,000 likes.
At one time on Friday, the btvn headquarters were outfitted with the streams of WBZ, NewsCenter5, and 7News. As the details unfolded, the networks depended upon the local affils to provide coverage, with each station being simulcast nationwide on cable. Each station provided exceptional coverage of the entire situation. Everyone involved in reporting should be proud of their accomplishments, and though the events that led to it were deeply saddening, the work put in by all to resolve it should make everyone proud.