When those covering the news become the news | Pressing Issues | Gina Channell Wilcox | DanvilleSanRamon.com |


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By Gina Channell Wilcox

When those covering the news become the news

Uploaded: Aug 27, 2014

Hats off to my friends and former colleagues at the Napa Valley Register! The building that has housed the Register for decades is in downtown Napa, which took the brunt of the 6.0 magnitude earthquake Sunday.

The quake was so powerful that it moved the press 4 inches and cracked it in one spot. If you have ever seen a newspaper printing press, you would understand just how much it would take to move a behemoth like that.

Even more devastating was that the building's roof collapsed, making most of the building - particularly the newsroom - uninhabitable. It's a publisher's worst nightmare - the biggest news story in your community and you are part of it.

But in true newspaper fashion, the Register staff was not going to not publish a paper.

"We'll be in business, definitely. You can count on it," publisher Brenda Speth said when interviewed in an ABC news report.

The journalists worked in the only inhabitable room in the building, the conference room, which forced the management team to meet at a picnic table in the parking lot. The paper was printed at another newspaper in Fairfield.

The quote "the show must go on" didn't pertain to the newspaper industry, but many newspapers have lived it. Think about The Times Picayune staff in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit and the Joplin (Mo.) Globe staff that covered the tornado in 2011 that killed 138 people.

Another aspect of journalists becoming the news also happened last week when American journalist James Foley was beheaded by ISIS militants. He was abducted in Syria in 2012 while working for the U.S.-based GlobalPost as a freelance photographer. He joins thousands of other journalists who have died while doing their job.

But the show goes on.