GretaWire has thing or two to say on the subject today…
I get asked all the time why we cover Natalee’s disappearance and not others. The answer: It is really random (there are unfortunately thousands others that could have been chosen) and the family has been willing to provide information to us to make reporting possible. (We can’t follow up on the missing honeymooner on the cruise ship since no one will talk. I can’t just talk to myself on air — I need a guest.) There are so many stories we have covered that I want to follow up on and will as time marches on. I regret that we can’t cover every story. Each day I open my e-mail to families asking for help. I try and guide them to the right places since I can’t cover them all on the air.
The first night we covered Natalee’s disappearance I had no idea that she would not be found quickly and that we would not quickly move on to other stories. If you had asked me to bet that first night we covered her disappearance, I probably would have said Natalee is a two-night story — that night and the next night when she had been found dead or alive. If you look at the hurricane coverage, likewise we have no idea how long we will be covering a particular hurricane since we don’t know the future. As the hours led up to Katrina, we expected that it would be the usual few days of hurricane coverage. We had no idea that it would wipe out much of the Gulf States area and demand much of our network’s continuing coverage.
When we program our show, we take into account many things — including the fact that our network is 24/7. With 24/7 coverage, many, many, many topics get covered during other others so I don’t feel we slight important topics. The extent of our cable news coverage — unlike broadcast TV — allows many of the shows to heavily focus on a topic from time to time. Broadcast TV has only 22 minutes of news (30 minute broadcasts with commercials) so it does not have the luxury we do to focus on a particular story. We have, as noted, 24/7 news… that is a lot. We are lucky to have so much time. We have news cut ins every hour — two during our show — that bring you the latest news on many, many topics so even within any given hour, you get lots of information. I suspect many of you also go to the Internet to get more information on topics that capture your attention from our 24/7 coverage. The enormous amount of resources available to the news junkie should allow you to learn about virtually any topic you want.