Thursday, July 07, 2005

On Top of the Situation ...

(Photo courtesy of

A busy day, today, whether you're part of the mainstream media ... like myself ... or one of those courageous purveyors of the REAL truth that - I am told - can only be found in the blogosphere. I cite this dichotomy that is often drawn between the two deliberately, and I deliberately use a sarcastic tone. The reason I do, is that ... for today, at least ... we seem to be working well together.

The news out of London - the extent of the damage, the number of deaths and injuries, the impact felt around the world - continues to develop ... and so does our coverage of that news, and your reaction to the news.

On the internet, the first notice/coverage of the news from London, posted to a West Texas website, was on, where I work. The next two notices - locally - didn't appear on news sites, but on weblogs ... Eric Siegmund's Fire Ant Gazette and Julie Craig's Yellow Bug News. Taken in conjunction with one another, those three sites provided a good, comprehensive reporting AND commentary on the news ...

(I'm coming back to this a few minutes later ... the official death toll in London has risen, and I needed to make the appropriate changes to headlines and leadlines on my website)

The coverage at is pretty straightforward ... the facts as they are known at this time, the accounts of witnesses, the reactions of world leaders and related developments around the world ... today's decision, for example, to increase security on American trains and buses. Text stories are supplemented by photo galleries and audio/video clips of speeches, briefings, etc.

As for our local weblogs, they add that personal touch to their commentary on the headlines that is one of the strengths they bring to the online medium.

Eric, for example, has redesigned his blog's
home page to incorporate England's "Union Jack" and a message of solidarity into his banner. One of his London-related posts links us to Patty at White Pebble who has only recently arrived in London, and is now blogging from the scene.

Julie, meanwhile - noting that "... Many tourists in central London were caught in the blasts ..." - offers up her own brief, but heartfelt
"What if ..." commentary, recalling that it was just last month that she and her son were tourists in London, riding the same kind of bus that was torn apart this morning by a terrorist bomb.

As the day progresses through the afternoon, more local sites are getting something up. Wallace Craig at Streams has reworked his site's banner to show his support for the Brits. John Boswell at Blogging for Midland describes his reaction to the images he's seeing on television. George Johns at Sleepless in Midland looks at today's performance of London's stock exchange.

Ironically, Jessica's Well might have had something as well, even though they're on hiatus. Chris Muir, creator of "Day by Day," has pulled today's cartoon and replaced it with his tribute to the Brits ... unfortunately, the link at Jessica's Well does not seem to be picking it up. You can see it at Muir's website, though.

Each site, in and of itself, tells part of the story. Together they offer us a wide and diverse variety of news reports and opinions. In a way, the combination of reporting on news websites, and commentary/discussion on weblogs, represents a complete "water cooler" cycle - reading/hearing/watching the news, then discussing it with others - all in one place, the internet.

And other West Texas news sites? The Odessa American now has a headline about the news from London. KMID-TV has Congressman Randy Neugebauer's response to the news ... but nothing about the news itself. And the rest - for now, at least - have nothing at all. I'm certain, though, that will change in the hours ahead.
That link at Jessica's Well has been fixed ... they're on hiatus, perhaps, but still on the ball.


Pancho said...

Wallace Craig at Streams has reworked his site's banner to show his support for the Brits.

And the Bride's as well! Thanks for noticing.

Jeff said...

Wallace, you and "the Bride" do good work ... it's hard NOT to notice ... thanks for visiting!

Jeff said...

The following, received by e-mail, is from Stewart Doreen, Managing Editor of the Midland Reporter-Telegram and, therefore, a contributor to the website.

While I am glad to see you have your own blog, I hope in the future you will stay away from commenting on other news sites. I thought your comments about what was on what site was petty. I also noticed that you that failed to follow up Friday with the superior local coverage from London in the MRT and on

Actually I kind of expected your failure to mention that.

I hope in the future that while you use your blog to promote your station's Web site, you stay away from any conversations from what is or is not on other media's web sites (especially ours). Because if you really ever want to compare who has what, my gut feeling is you will be terribly disappointed.

Good luck with everything,

Stewart Doreen

Jeff said...

Stewart, thank you for your input on my weblog. If there is anything I missed regarding coverage of the breaking news out of London that day ... or if there was something I mentioned that day that was not present on our West Texas websites ... please let me know, and I will update my post accordingly.

In the meantime, I will be happy to publish your comments as a response to my original post on my weblog.