Monday, April 09, 2007

You'd Have To Be A News Reporter

I started becoming interested in what was happening around me, and around the world, as a teenager. Or, roughly, around the time I began working in the news department of a fairly large radio station. It stays with you, this interest.

Listening to the Valley is of interest:

An ambulance is dispatched to an elderly lady’s home, but upon arrival, the attendants call for the coroner. A kitchen fire in the Heights section, easily extinguished. Swoyersville police car 1 on a traffic stop, being backed up by Forty Fort 1.

Huh? Where is Swoyersville 2? Oh, they don’t have two cars. Neither does Forty Fort. None of those small burgs have more than one cop. Sometimes even the chief is a part-time employee. Others don’t have any cops at all.

So the scanner runs, its volume set low, barely audible. It’s the sound of life in the Valley. Who needs to know this? Anybody who looks at a traffic stop, or an auto accident, and wonders what’s going on. People who hear sirens and try to figure out where the emergency vehicles are going. All those who read the police reports in the newspaper.

I just get them quicker. Quicker, as in, “Right now.” Radio’s theory is, “When you hear it, it’s news; when you read it, it’s history.” A scanner is a reporter’s gossipy pal.


Blogger Cold Josh Vail said...

Who else sits on scanners?

A friend of ours, incapable to get out and around would get on his about 3:00 PM and listen for reports of roadkills. He would call my podnah and we'd race over there and if it wasn't too beat up or if the DOT hadn't picked it up, we did. It is illegal, which makes it that much more fun. The last deer we got was hit in the head and shoulders, but we got 51 lbs. of venison out of it!

April 09, 2007 6:59 AM  

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