Local Drowning Tragedy — Why No Coverage?

Local radio is supposed to provide a community feel and immediacy that paints a picture that citizens are comfortable with and something that they can count on.  That is why I was so surprised yesterday (March 6) that I could not find adequate coverage on the local stations in regards to the drowning death of a 21 month old baby in a stroller at the Bonnie Gool Pier.  I happened to be down near the scene when it happened, rowing a boat only 100 feet from the incident, one that unfortunately I did not see.  I noticed a gathering at the Pier of concerned citizens and a plethora of coast guard officials along with Eureka police.  Nobody quite knew what was happening, a coast guard employee would not tell me, but the rumors ranged from the stroller rolling off the pier (out of sight of the father) – to the baby being stolen – to the whole thing being a hoax.  

An hour after the incident was called in, and while coast guard officials had still not found the baby, there finally appeared to be a man with a professional looking telephoto camera but I saw no news trucks or recording devices.  While officials were dragging the bottom of the bay near the pier and divers were suiting up, nobody was interviewing the crowd as far as I could see and when I got home I found no news on local radio.  Later that day on NBC 3 the Sunday evening news led off with the story which had some pictures but only about 30 seconds of copy and no interviews.  The Time-Standard had a couple of paragraphs that evening but nothing in-depth. 

While I watched this whole incident play out from the parking lot of the Adorni Center I thought to myself how this story would be one of the biggest of the year for a small town such as Eureka.  The bigger story appears to be the lack of news coverage to such a tragic event. 


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