KPBS Stands Out for San Diego Fire Coverage

I’ve friends and family in San Diego and therefore was especially glad to find KPBS’ extensive coverage of the fires. [Update, thanks to Frank Taylor for the pointer.] It has created, or is linking to, Google Earth and Google Maps and is sending out updates over Twitter (8 in the last hour alone) to more than 650 subscribers. (I first heard of the fires not through radio or the web, but rather via a Twitter from Kenyatta Cheese regarding the cancellation of classes at UCSD.)

The maps are cool, but the highlight is the audio, featuring the station’s own reporters, reps from other news orgs and community folks calling in with evacuation updates and details on where volunteers and supplies are needed. This is all the more extraordinary given that the station was knocked off the air this morning due to the fire and are looking for a new transmitter. (I’m sure they wouldn’t mind some cash contributions, either.) The station feed has been picked up by alt-rock station KBZT– rather an indictment of commercial radio’s ability to cover news. I also gather that the station has sought, and received, help from other pub radio stations in managing demands for streaming audio.

Nonprofit community service Voice of San Diego is also providing good coverage.

2 thoughts on “KPBS Stands Out for San Diego Fire Coverage

  1. “an indictment of commercial radio’s ability to cover news”????

    I seriously doubt KBZT would be doing this if KPBS had not lost their transmitter. If anything, this is an indictment of commercial radio’s willingness to assist another broadcaster in need and provide a public service to the people of San Diego.

  2. Dan– my point, not fully articulated,perhaps, is that KBZT has no significant, if any, news presence of its own. I hear tales that in the not too distant past commercial radio stations employed journalists, they don’t anymore. News departments, particularly on FM, are rare breeds in ther aftermath of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
    I say all this without hating on KBZT which, I gather, is far from a typical Clear-channel corporate crappy station.

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