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"Breaking News"

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Hi, Bill Radke here, Weekend America co-host.

I just got off the air after a six-hour marathon. The Vatican announced during our program that Pope John Paul II had died, and we updated our show continuously with new developments. Normally, Weekend America is only a two-hour program. But when news breaks, we stay on the air live, from 9 a.m., to 3 p.m. (Pacific Time), to keep you posted. Right up until broadcast we, along with the rest of the world, were in the dark about the Pope's life expectancy. So we assigned reporter Matthew Algeo to monitor the situation via the Web and television. Within just a few minutes of the Vatican's announcement, we relayed news of John Paul's death to our listeners.

You know, I wonder how you feel about the relationship between "breaking news" and your public radio station. Did you stay tuned to the radio Friday and Saturday, listening for the updates and reporting? Did you turn instead to television to see for yourself the crowd at St. Peter's Square or the other many images TV brought us? Was this even breaking news to you? We've known for years about the Pope's frailty and for weeks about his dangerously worsening health. Did you feel like public radio and Weekend America brought you too much information?

I'd like to hear from you. Maybe you have your own story of involvement in an historic event; where you weren't just a news consumer, but became caught up in "breaking news." Please send us a note here. And always feel free to tell us a good story. Leave us your contact information, and maybe we can help share your tale with listeners of Weekend America.

Best,
Bill Radke

Posted by Bill Radke on April 2, 2005

Loved Matt Algeo's reporting on the last hours of the Pope! Can't wait for his coverage of the Papal funeral from Burbank or of Charles and Camilla's nuptials from Culver City!

Posted by: B J Finnessey on April 4, 2005 9:39 PM

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