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The media city just below the coal mine.


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The trapped miner tragedy has truly touched the hearts of the county. And as I sit here along the river at the base of the coal mine entrance road I thought I’d try to give you a little bit of what’s it like being here in the media city…since the subtitle of the blog does say we are supposed to blog about inside workings of the newsroom of KSL Newsradio.

The first sign you’re approaching the city in the canyon is you see an electronic road sign warning of congestion ahead and to drive slowly. It’s best to follow that warning because just around the corner you’ll run into long line of satellite trucks parked on one side while the reporters cars are snuggly tucked up against the mountain on the other side. It’s a small road and there is just enough space for the never ending line of semi trucks bringing supplies to navigate on through.

Along the bank of the river you’ll see all the canopies set up to cover the TV anchors and reporters from all the major networks and local stations. I’ve even seen some reporters that appear to be broadcasting to other countries.

Next comes the sheriff’s command center. It’s an RV equipped with all the communications and other gadgets the sheriff’s office needs to keep order in this makeshift city. The RV is where all the media briefings are held and they are very well attended. Many reporters crouch down in front of the semi circle of TV cameras in between the long boom microphone poles. Some were smart enough to bring camping chairs which makes the often over 30 minute briefings much easier on the legs compared to crouching. After the briefing everyone scatters to their satellite trucks or quickly jumps on the cell phone to relay the latest information to their respective news operation.

For food there is a salvation army disaster station which feeds just about anyone who walks by. They even tell us reporters to come grab food which I think the sheriff’s office enjoys so we don’t keep migrating to town and back clogging up the road in the search for food. But most of the media reporters bring up their own food anyway. There are bags of chips, beef jerky and all kinds of other stuff piled up around the different station setups. From the looks of it most aren’t eating very healthy including myself.

Then there’s sleeping arrangements. Most stations have a few people that stay in the media city all night long in case something happens. But after the last late night live shots it’s an exodus down to price or surrounding towns where every hotel room is booked. In fact the front counter lady at the hotel where I’m staying says every room is booked in the entire county. So some nights some people go without a room. There’s a truck not too far in front of me where the guy has a sleeping bag in the back.

Well I could go on but I’m about to go live so I’d better end this. Of course we all hope for the best in this tragedy. So now I’m about to put my attention back on more important things…the six trapped miners.

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R. Jeppesen

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