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Location, Location, Location -- It's Not Just A Real Estate Slogan Anymore

(CBS/AP)
At first it was like some bad acid flashback – television cameras peering out over the Manhattan skyline, viewfinders and TV screens filled with a burning building as various tickers and "breaking news" alerts told of some undefined aviation accident. Was it a single-engine airplane or a helicopter, was it an accident or some purposeful act of violence? Unspoken but very much on all our minds – would there be more?

But in a matter of minutes, those fears and questions subsided as local television and cable news channels heard from eyewitnesses and evidence began making clear this was a tragic accident, not a terrorist attack. But the wall-to-wall, "breaking news" streamed on, even when it was clear that the situation was relatively well in-hand and controlled. This happened, in my opinion for two reasons. First, the crash occurred in New York City and aside from its tragic association with 9/11, it's also the media capital of the world. The second reason is that the plane crash killed a minor celebrity – New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle.

Hey, anytime a small plane crashes into a New York City high rise, it's news – and having a Yankees player involved elevates the interest level a bit. But was it headline news? Did the story merit being the lead on all three broadcast newscasts? Did it deserve more attention than, say, the ongoing international tension over a potentially nuclear North Korea, the war in Iraq or a variety of other "news" that happened outside of New York? Would a similar incident have received the same level of coverage had it occurred in San Diego, Seattle, Dallas, Miami or Denver and involved a member of their respective baseball teams? Is news like real estate, all about location, location, location?

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