Some call it being prepared. Others dismiss it as an idiotic obsession. I tend to agree with the latter. How else would you explain, like this morning in London, that upon discovering a low flying plane I immediately wonder:
If it crashes now, what news outlet would I call first, and how would I cover it?
It dates back to my time as a journalist for an evening paper in Amsterdam in the late eighties. Living close to Schiphol Airport I had those thoughts all the time, especially around lunch time, right before the front page would go to print.
It would have been simple. A quick call, bark some witness statements, and voila, on the front page. Job well done. (It never happened.)
Having covered 9/11 as the US correspondent for NOS Dutch radio, those bizar thoughts have obviously only increased. What goes up…
And things are a bit different as a solo multimedia maniac in 2007. Do you give radio the first call? Do you first take a picture with your mobile? Do you prefer to shoot some video maybe? Do you attempt to reach a tv editor? Do you dictate a couple of lines for the website? Where do you start? (You tell me.)
I was contemplating all those options when plane after plane safely descended over London. Truth seems to be: I’m very unprepared to capture the moment for the whole shebang. Sad but true.