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How We Cover Breaking News & Why

[ 2 ] June 11, 2011 |

Nelson County, Virginia
We get lots of emails and questions here at NCL as to how we cover certain news events and why. We thought it good to have a post explaining the thought process behind our coverage. First, we never cover breaking or hard news in our printed publication. That’s by design. We always wanted Nelson County Life Magazine to be a feature, lifestyle, and recreation publication. Period. Having been on TV covering the hard news side of the business, both Yvette and I know all too well how saturated daily lives become with negative news. There are many daily and weekly area newspapers that do that sort of thing. It’s not anything we really care to ever venture back into. Though, we have been asked thousands of times by many of you over the past 6 or 7 years. While flattering to be asked, we left that side of the business to get away from those types of stories.

When people living in Nelson County, or those coming to visit, open the print edition we want them to read about fun, interesting, or sometimes inspirational stories. Not murders, car wrecks, board meetings, or the like. Again, plenty of other places to get that.

However, on our web side, the very thing you are reading now, we found some years ago there was a tremendous void for quick, responsive information during breaking news situations. This might include severe weather, (remember the blizzard!) criminals on the run that could pose a danger to people living here. Major accidents that would close down roads or greatly impede traffic. Because we are such a multimedia organization, and this is what we did for years and years on major market television, it wasn’t a stretch for us to gear up and provide this service. Sometimes it’s hard to do. Emotional. Just like this past week’s accident here in Nelson that took the life of a wonderful young girl just beginning to embark on her future. Our objective when posting those types of stories, is not to drill down into days and days of followup on how something happened, who was responsible, etc. We try to break the stories and follow as they are happening then leave it to other news organizations to do what they do. And we never post names of victims prematurely. Even if the other guys do, we don’t. We have a family too. We are parents. We constantly update the progress of stories on our Twitter and Facebook feeds.

We so appreciate the 10’s of thousands of you that follow us here each each week on the NCL web edition! We hope you have found it helpful and continue appreciating what we do. Look for more improvements and new feature to be rolled out in the coming months!

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Comments (2)

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  1. Anne Foster says:

    Tommy and Yvette, Your article about the How and Why of your breaking news was very well worded and thoughtful. We have lived here nearly 30 years and your information and quality of reporting, is the only local info that we have ever had. We really appreciate and enjoy your accurate reporting. Having had a tragedy in our life, we realize that reporting the news can be very emotional and you walk a fine line to report facts only. We can only applaud you for reporting the facts quickly and making us aware of situations that are on-going. Thank you for a “thankless” job. Anne and Morris

  2. Heather Kidd says:

    Tommy and Yvette,

    Thank you so much for reporting on all kinds of breaking news. I’m continually so astonished and pleased to have such a great service happening for Nelson County – I currently live over in Waynesboro, by my Dad still lives over in Shipman and it has been a godsend, especially during severe weather.

    I appreciate that folks always want to have more details, faster, especially when they’re worried about potential loved ones, but putting out premature information helps know one and can needlessly cause a panic. Because you are so thoughtful and deliberate in your process, we can all be assured that this is not a problem that we have when relying on you.

    Thank you again.

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