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Swissair Tragedy


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When disaster strikes - the local story



Vernon Oickle
Bulletin Editor

 In my 20 years of working for community newspapers on the South Shore, I have been involved in several national and international news stories. But everything else pales in comparison to the tragedy of Swissair Flight 111. Due to the overwhelming nature of this disaster, Lighthouse Publishing devoted all our resources last week to bring local readers the most comprehensive and complete local coverage possible. This week's paper reflects that effort.

 Such a tragedy naturally brings media from around the world. By last Thursday morning a crush of international reporters had converged on the South Shore jockeying for the best photos, the best interviews and the most interesting angles. As one would expect, the media coverage was continuous and extensive for several days, but through it all, our local reporters worked hard to also stay up to date on the story. In some respects, a weekly newspaper is at a great disadvantage when it comes to such a major story. While we have more time to pull the details together, it also means we have an abundance of material to work with.

 Our role then is to find the local angles and tell our readers how such a tragedy affects our communities. Lighthouse Publishing staff have worked hard to find those angles that make this tragedy a local story. Our team of dedicated reporters, although often exhausted both physically and emotionally, know this disaster will have long-term impacts on our communities. The comprehensive package on these pages are the results of a lot of hard work by a team of reporters who live and work in these communities and it is their wish that our coverage reflects our commitment to the local people.

 Reporters Mark Roberts and Lisa Brown led the effort and were assisted by Jodie Turner and Susan Corkum-Greek. The commitment to doing a good job was reflected in the fact that Theresa Hawkesworth and John Cunningham came in from their vacations to help by picking up other regular assignments. On their behalf, I extend our gratitude and thanks to the people who helped us pull these articles together. Our first priority was to maintain a high level of dignity that such a story demands. With the help of local volunteers, residents and officials we have been able to do that.


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