National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations

Baltimore Bridge Collapse Reinforces The Essential Need For Local Coverage

Like so many of us, I awoke on Tuesday to the horrific news of the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge that acted as a major artery across Baltimore Harbor.

My first instinct was to turn to a national cable channel so that I could better understand the alerts humming across my phone. But as the morning wore on, I found myself turning to the local stations in Baltimore and watching and reading their superb coverage on their websites.

Not only do they have the local knowledge and self-interest that elevates their coverage well beyond anything a national network or cable news channel might provide, but they are able to go deeper on everything from the heroic search and rescue operations; the victims and their impacted families and colleagues; the presumed cause (likely a tragic accident caused by a powerless and thus rudderless cargo ship); efforts to stop the flow of traffic and keep a number of cars off the bridge before the tragedy; complete coverage of the official press conferences; the helicopter footage supplied to all of the major cable channels and alternative routes for those individuals for whom this bridge was their daily commute.

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