BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Marathon bombings put members of the news media in new and unfamiliar roles last year. WBZ’s Deb Lawler reports many have their own stories to tell about last year’s events at the finish line.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Deb Lawler reports
Police, runners, spectators. There are thousands of stories from Marathon Day 2013, and it was the job of reporters to tell those stories.
“For all of us, it was probably the most difficult week of our broadcasting career,” says WBZ’s Anthony Silva. “You know, there are millions of people listening to us, and they want to know the truth, they want to know the facts, and they want to believe in you, believe in what you say,” says Silva.
This story became a personal story.
WBZ -TV photographer Chris Gobeille was at the Marathon finish line when the bombs went off.
“I eventually grabbed my camera, and it was kind of like a fireman going into a burning building. That’s what it felt like for me. I saw things that nobody really wanted to see, and I saw it over and over and over again,” he recalls.
WBZ’s Lana Jones covered the story from the finish line to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s boat capture in Watertown. It was there, she started to worry about fellow reporter Bernice Corpuz. Lana recalls, “I did not hear gunshots from where I was, but I heard other people talking about the gunshots, and I knew Bernice was on her way, and that was my one moment of fear, I thought, she’s driving right into the line of fire.”
Bernice filed reports about seeing choppers in the area, and then saw the vehicles driving off with the suspect, to the applause of Watertown residents.
WBZ Morning Producer Pete Lagace was on duty as the Watertown shooting unfolded Thursday night into Friday morning. He talks about the role that WBZ overnight talk show host Bradley Jay played.
“He was able to take calls from people in Watertown, who were able to describe what they were seeing and what they were hearing. The audience was being our eyes and our ears at that very early critical point in the story,” recalls Lagace.
Also early on duty, WBZ’s Karen Twomey, who was with the police in Watertown.
“They all have bulletproof vests. They have helmets on. They’ve got SWAT teams everywhere and they’re telling us ‘you’re not safe here, you’re not safe here, you’ve got to move back.’ At that point, I realized, you know what, they don’t actually know what’s going on either. We may really be in danger,” she recalls.
She also says it took several days to process the emotions of Watertown. After a long day on the air together following the capture of the younger Tsarnaev brother, WBZ’s Diane Stern joined her colleague, Anthony Silva and decided to drive to the Marathon finish line. It was after midnight on that Saturday morning.
“I parked the car and I heard singing. I opened the door and the streets of Boston were filled with song. You could hear the National Anthem and on the next block you could hear USA,USA. There was this collective sigh of relief people were breathing,” says a reflective Silva, adding, “As I look back, I hope we continue that role to be the voice of Boston, and also to approach these totally unexpected events in a level-headed responsible way.”
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