How journalists are covering the news unfolding in Boston

Boston journalists were awake through the night as they covered the tragic news unfolding in and around their city.

As the country awakes today, it will discover that the person who police believe is “Suspect #1″ in the Boston bombing is dead. The man believed to be “Suspect 2″ is on the run. The men are reportedly brothers.

A timeline of what happened

Around 10:30 p.m. ET Thursday, an MIT police officer was shot and killed. campus officer was shot multiple times while in his cruiser. A transit police office was injured from gunfire. A door-to-door 20-block search was underway at dawn. The MTBA transit service is closed.

Only six hours after the FBI released photos of the two suspects in the Boston bombing,  someone reportedly robbed a convenience store and Cambridge police responded. To get a sense of the chaos that ensued overnight, listen to these chilling police radio transmissions.

Police say a short time later, two men carjacked a Mercedes SUV at gunpoint. Police chased the stolen vehicle, the two suspects opened fire on Watertown police and a transit police officer was shot. One of the suspects was also shot and died at a local hospital. The second suspect got away. The Atlantic has a more detailed breakdown of what happened, and so does Slate. Frontline’s Andrew Golis tweeted a visual timeline and has been tweeting other important updates.

At 2 a.m. Friday morning, the FBI released new enhanced photos of the two suspects.

Boston Police released an image of the man on the loose around 4:20 a.m. Friday. He’s the same man who’s wearing the white baseball cap in the photos that the FBI released Thursday.

As we follow this story today, we should remember that it’s the 18th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. On April 19, 1995, America was stunned that this kind of thing could happen on American soil. Sadly, today, it’s less surprising.

How journalists are covering the news

If you had any question about whether we still need journalists, ask the people of Boston today. WHDH TV’s Adam Williams, whose reporting you can see here, found himself in the midst of the shootout.

WHDH-TV’s Adam WIlliams reports from the scene of the shootout.

Local TV in Boston has been especially effective and has seemingly been “everywhere”; networks have captured video of the first “suspect” sprawled on the street as police gingerly approach his body. Local stations, like WCVB-TV, have updated their websites nonstop with timelines, live audio, video and maps.

A screengrab from WCVB-TV’s website, taken at 5:45 a.m.

NBC News reported at 5:04 a.m. that “the bombing suspects have international ties and have been in the U.S. for at least a year.” Other news outlets were more reserved; Bob Orr of CBS, for example, said at 5:35 a.m. that information is “being reported” but he cannot confirm it to be true. Shortly after 7 a.m., the Associated Press reported: “Boston bomb suspects from Russia region near Chechnya, lived in US at least 1 year.”

The Boston Globe has been updating its live blog coverage throughout the morning. Ten journalists contributed to one of its main stories about what transpired overnight.

In the aftermath of this news, journalists will likely find themselves covering another major story — about gun control. Without a doubt, the pro-gun-rights voices will rise and point to a horrific night in the Boston suburbs as a reason why law-abiding citizens should be able to own guns and protect themselves.

A reminder of why we need journalists

For all of the legitimate criticism there has been of some journalists this week, we have to admit how much we rely on and appreciate journalists who have carefully reported the quickly unfolding events Thursday night into Friday morning.

As I’ve watched live coverage on Boston TV stations overnight, I’ve thought about how valuable it is to have experienced journalists on the air who know the city like the backs of their hands.

I watched a WBZ anchor David Wade, for example, describe street-by-street where police were heading. Say what you want about TV anchors, but here is a guy with years on the street as a reporter and a Massachusetts native.

Boston media are like that. Days like this remind us of why we need journalists who have lived in the market they work in for a long time and who know how to report a story that doesn’t rest.

Mallary Tenore contributed to this report.

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  • svend

    The 24 hours coverage on TV was an exiting break for most americans glaring at soap operas day long, eating popcorn, burgers and drinking cola.
    Rideculeus to watch people clapping for the fantastic police force with president, guvernoer, FBI and police chief congratulating themselves for the extraordiary achievement to catch a wounded 19 year old boy, who had succeeded whole day to flee hundreds of police with heavy weapon and armoured vechicles. Only a tip from a house owner could lead the police to the boy, because he was bleeding. Where was the police dogs?? And close down the whole city because of one wounded 19 year old. I realy feel pity for you americans, that this is an incident, which you glared upon for 24 hours.

  • poppy coq

    It seems YOU are the one wasting time connecting dots. YOU are the one pulling transcripts and it’s no surprise that you’ve concocted a story that fits your self-pitying sense of persecution.

    And, anyway, the older brother obviously was a “conservative,” though not the kind that suits your narrative.

  • Morley Robertson

    Well we now have our answer to what is going to happen…the suspects Uncle says they’re Muslim. That’s all the Americans needed to hear. It will now be labelled as a Muslim extremist attack. As if the US was not paranoid enough. This should prove to drive them over the edge. To see the way the “journalists” were treating their Uncle was absolutely ridiculous. Journalists are supposed to be neutral and get facts, not scream at people who have nothing to do with the situation at hand and make asses of themselves.

    I agree that any and all suspects should be apprehended. I agree that they should be brought to justice, they should and will pay for what they did. I do not agree with America’s so called “journalism” treating fellow human beings with scorn and hate. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • GiveUntoMeStuff

    I think it is interesting that early in the week we saw speculation that it MUST have been right wing conservatives since it was Hitler’s birthday (NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston) or tax day (Chris Matthews and others), anniversary of Waco (various). I did a Lexis pull of transcripts and found 3:1 ratio of speculation this was right wing to possibility it was Muslim or Islam/Islamic/Islamist (email me and I’ll give you the data)

    Now, that it turns out it is NOT right wing conservatives, we have some of the same reporters warning we cannot rush to judgment about motives. Steven Inskeep on NPR and on his twitter feed said and posted “We are collecting dots. It’s a day to be careful about connecting them.” There was no problem with connecting those dots when it came to conservatives.

  • Robb Montgomery

    Al, please share this link with your on-air colleagues who seem to be clueless about facts outside of Boston. All U.S. reporters to study this map so they know what the hell they are talking about. #factsaresacred