Tonawanda News

Columns

April 17, 2013

DUVALL: Finding the stories that bring you there

Tonawanda News — Reporters are strange animals. We don’t process the news the same way normal people do. 

When the initial news broke of the Boston Marathon bombing my first response wasn’t shock or sadness. It was to cancel my plans for a day off — buy a new TV and set up the new entertainment center. Minutes after flipping on CNN it was clear I had to get to the newsroom.

I’m not quite sure where Monday’s tragedy in Boston ranks on the list of breaking stories we’ve covered in my tenure here. Only someone as ghoulish as a journalist would make such a list. 

Whether it be breaking news of the happy or sad variety, reporters live for the adrenaline rush of a big story. Monday was all of that and then some.

I should take a moment to recognize the outstanding work several of my colleagues here and at our sister papers in Lockport and Niagara Falls did. My name was on the byline but that only means I tied together their top notch reporting in the hours after the bombs went off on Boylston Street.

Here at the News, Jessica Bagley and Michael Regan combed through the list of 27,000 runners with editors Neale Gulley and Danielle Haynes. By the time I walked in the door they had already identified several Tonawandans who were in Boston for the race. In a matter of minutes, literally, they had worked up full dossiers on the runners: Names, ages, addresses, phone numbers, social media contacts, relatives. (It’s a wonder what you can do in the Internet age.)

We weren’t actually able to contact any of the runners personally, which was frustrating. But we were able to confirm none were among the injured, which was important.

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