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On the Media Releases Handbook for Watching Breaking News

OTM_Consumer_Handbook.inddNPR program On The Media has released a consumer guide for watching break news.

The show’s website said “Rather than counting on news outlets to get it right, we’re looking at the other end.”

The guide gives listeners and TV watchers some tips on how to sort through all the information spewed out by live news reports during a breaking news event.

The number one piece of advice? “In the immediate aftermath, news outlets will get it wrong.”

Click here to see the story and get your own downloadable guide. You can see the full pdf after the jump. Read more

Washington, D.C. Stations Break In to Cover Shootings at Navy Yard

After shots were reported around 8:20 a.m. ET this morning at the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters in Washington, D.C., local stations broke into to regular programming with coverage at around 8:30 a.m.  After brief updates, most of the stations went back to the network morning shows then returned for wall-to-wall coverage near the top of the hour.

First on-air with the news was FOX owned station WTTG. Anchor Tony Perkins was already on-air with the “FOX 5 Morning News” when he tossed to Allison Seymour at 8:35 a.m. Seymour gave viewers a quick update before returning to the regular morning show.

Next up was NBC owned station WRC which broke in to NBC’s “Today” show at 8:39 a.m. Anchors Eun Yang and Aaron Gilchrist updated viewers from the studio on the developing situation.

CBS affiliate WUSA broke in to a commercial break at 8:47 a.m. during “CBS This Morning.” Andrea Roane and Mike Hydeck anchored from the studio. WUSA also told viewers they could get updates on the breaking news from the station’s facebook and twitter feeds.

At 8:50 a.m., ABC affiliate WJLA broke in to “Good Morning America” with Jummy Olabanji anchoring from the studio. She quickly tossed to reporter Sam Ford who was live at the scene by phone. Ford said he lived close-by the scene and came over when he heard “all sorts of racket.” WJLA stayed on-air the rest of the morning.

One development worth watching was the use of social media by the stations. One example was WTTG @myfoxdc which kept viewers updated via twitter. See one of their tweets after the jump. Read more

Tip Gives WOIO Jump on Castro Coverage

One month after he was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and sexually abusing three women in Cleveland, Ariel Castro was found dead by apparent suicide in his prison cell Tuesday night.

CBS affiliate WOIO was the first station to report the news and the only station to break in to overnight programming with more than a brief special report. Romona Robinson and Denise Dufala anchored from  12:03 a.m. to 2:28 a.m., with Dan DeRoos reporting from the newsroom and Tiffani Tucker outside the home where Castro kept the three women for more than ten years.

“We had gotten a tip that this had perhaps happened, that Ariel Castro had hung himself. My first move was to call the Correctional Reception Center in Orient,” DeRoos said.

Castro’s death was the lead story on the early-morning newscasts on ABC affiliate WEWS, Fox affiliate WJW and NBC affiliate WKYC.

Atlanta Gunman Ordered School Employee to Call WSB

During the school shooting in Atlanta Tuesday afternoon, the gunman ordered a school employee to call WSB, the ABC affiliate in Atlanta.

After the school employee placed the call, she was connected to an assignment editor, Lacey Lecroy, who talked about the conversation during the station’s continuing coverage of the incident. “All my time doing this I’ve never experienced anything like this … she said, ‘he wants me to give a message to Channel 2. He wants Channel 2 to come here,” she said (video above).

“I never heard him, just her. I asked her why and he said he wanted us to start filming as police die … I was so worried for her,” Lecroy said.

Atlanta Stations Cover Decatur School Shooting

Atlanta stations broke into regular programming this afternoon after at least one gunshot was fired at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy, a charter elementary school in DeKalb County.

ABC affiliate WSB was the first station to report the news at 1:13pmET. Fox O&O WAGA broke in to afternoon programming at 1:19pmET, with CBS affiliate WGCL following at 1:20pmET. NBC affiliate WXIA reported the news at 1:26pmET.

All four stations were careful in describing the situation, as there was initial confusion about whether shots had been fired. WSB’s Carol Sbarge said there had been “some sort of police incident” at the school, while WAGA’s Lisa Rayam reported a “heavy police presence” after reports of a “man sitting in the front office with a gun.” On WGCL, Jeff Chirico also referred to the unfolding news as an “incident,” and WXIA’s Jaye Watson reported a 911 call “of shots fired at this elementary school.”

WSB’s Ryan Young filed a report from his iPhone after arriving on the scene. Watch it after the jump. Read more

San Francisco Stations Cover SFO Plane Crash

A Boeing 777 operated by Asiana Airlines crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport Saturday afternoon, killing at least two people and injuring more than 60 others.

KTVU reported the news at 12:13 p.m. Frank Somerville anchored coverage and Patti Lee and Tom Vicar reported for the Fox affiliate.

ABC O&O KGO and NBC O&O KNTV broadcast national special reports from their respective affiliated networks. On KGO, Matt Keller anchored local coverage beginning at 1:10 p.m. Sam Brock anchored KNTV’s report beginning at 12:39 p.m. Raj Mathai took over anchoring coverage at 1 p.m., with Monte Francis reporting from SFO.

Alecia Reid anchored on KRON beginning at 1:19 p.m., with Jeff Pierce reporting from the scene and Dan Kerman reporting from a nearby hospital. Vicki Liviakis took over at the anchor desk as the afternoon went on.

CBS O&O KPIX, which was broadcasting CBS Sports’ coverage of The Greenbrier, showed aerial pictures of the crash in a splitscreen with the golf tournament. The station simulcast coverage from KCBS radio over the images. Allen Martin took over anchoring coverage at 1:51 p.m., with Linda Yee and  Joe Vazquez reporting from the airport. Len Ramirez reported from Mineta San Jose International Airport.

Former Patriots Tight End Aaron Hernandez Charged With Murder

For most of the day, Boston stations have been in continuing coverage of the of arrest of NFL player Aaron Hernandez, who has been charged with murder of a 27-year-old semipro football player was found close to Hernandez’s home. The New England Patriots tight end was dropped by the team shortly after he was arrested at his home around 8:45 a.m.

On WCVB, Bianca de la Garza and Susan Wornick anchored coverage. The ABC affiliate had investigative reporter Kathy Curran reporting from the newsroom, Pam Cross reporting from the Attleborough courthouse and John Atwater at the North Attleborough police station.

On WHDH, Kayna Whitworth and Tim Caputo anchored coverage. Sportscaster Rhett Lewis reported for the NBC affiliate from Gillette Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots. Byron Barnett reported from the courthouse, with Alexandra Field at the police station and Victoria Warren at Hernandez’s house.

CBS O&O WBZ had Kate Merrill and David Wade anchoring in the morning and Paula Ebben and Jonathan Elias anchoring in the afternoon. Bill Shields reported from the courthouse and Michelle Roberts reported from Gillette Stadium.

Shannon Mulaire and Gene Lavanchy anchored on Fox O&O WFXT in the morning, and Maria Stephanos and Mark Ockerbloom took over in the afternoon. Crystal Haynes reported from the North Attlebourough police station and Sharman Sacchetti was live from the courthouse.

California Stations Cover High Court Decisions on Gay Marriage

The Supreme Court of the United States handed down two decisions on gay marriage this morning, a ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act and another on California’s Proposition 8. In San Francisco and Los Angeles, local stations had continuing coverage of the rulings.

In Los Angeles, ABC O&O KABC, NBC O&O KNBC and CBS O&O KCBS all broadcast national special reports. Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie anchored on NBC, George Stephanopoulos anchored on ABC and Norah O’Donnell anchored on CBS. CW affiliate KTLA and Fox O&O KTTV stayed with local coverage, with Frank Buckley and Jessica Holmes anchoring on KTLA and Steve Edwards and Maria Sansone anchoring on KTTV.

In San Francisco, NBC O&O KNTV and CBS O&O KPIX broadcast the national special reports. ABC O&O KGO, Fox affiliate KTVU and MyNetworkTV affiliate KRON had local coverage of the two decisions. Kristen Sze and Eric Thomas anchored on KGO, Tori Campbell and Dave Clark anchored on KTVU and Mark Danon anchored on KRON.

The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage act and dismissed the appeal on Proposition 8, clearing the way for gay marriage in California.

New York City Stations Cover High-Rise Rescue at Hearst Tower

New York City stations broke into afternoon programming this afternoon with dramatic pictures of two window washers stranded on a scaffolding near the top of the Hearst Tower.

NBC O&O WNBC was first to report the news at 2:58 p.m., breaking into the tail end of “The Jeff Probst Show.” Tom Llamas anchored into the 3 p.m. hour, preempting “Steve Harvey.” ABC O&O WABC was next, breaking into “Katie” at 3:03 p.m. with Lori Stokes anchoring. CBS O&O WCBS was just seconds later at 3:04 p.m. Dana Tyler anchored the breaking news coverage, which aired in place of “Dr. Phil.”

Fox O&O WNYW and CW affiliate WPIX are not yet covering the attempted rescue. The NYPD has removed the windows on the building’s 44th floor and will attempt to bring the men off the scaffolding through the open windows, according to WNBC.

>Update: WPIX broke into “Maury” with coverage of the rescue during the 4 p.m. hour. Both men were reported safe at 4:15 p.m.

Watch WNBC’s coverage after the jump. Read more

Los Angeles Stations Cover Santa Monica College Shooting

Three people were shot Friday near Santa Monica College, and a suspect was subsequently arrested in the school’s library. The shooting took place just miles away from where President Obama was attended a fundraiser in Los Angeles.

KCAL was the first station to report the news at 12:16 p.m., in the middle of its noon newscast. Sandra Mitchell anchored and Kara Finnstrom reported from Santa Monica College. KTTV was next at at 12:22 p.m. Maria Sansone and Tony McEwing anchored for the Fox O&O. KABC broke into “The Chew” at 12:30 p.m. with Ric Romero anchoring and Sid Garcia reporting from the scene. KCBS began simulcasting KCAL’s continuous coverage at 12:34 p.m. KTLA was next at 12:36, and KNBC — which was airing NBC’s coverage of the French Open — reported the shooting at 1:18 p.m.

The stations relied mostly on ground shots from the scene because of flight restrictions in the area due to Obama’s visit to Los Angeles prevented any aerial pictures.

“Normally we would have Sky 9 and Sky 2 up over the scene to bring you this breaking news, but there are flight restrictions in the air because of this Presidential visit,” Mitchell said on KCBS.

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