Response to Rick Roberts on media's role in fire reportage
Last updated 11/8/2007 at Noon
My husband and I were visiting friends in Arizona when the fires started.
To find out what was happening in Fallbrook, where we live, after first checking the Web sites of CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox and CNN, we tried SignOnSanDiego, the North County Times and various fire agency sites.
Finally, we checked the Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News, for whom I freelance as a feature writer. The managing editor, Debbie Ramsey, did not evacuate with the majority of community residents but stayed at her computer, constantly updating the status of the Rice Canyon Fire for individuals having access to a computer.
I did not check their site first, believing all of the staff would be gone. Later I learned all but Ramsey and a freelance photographer relocated to a safe location in Temecula, where she fed the information to the Web site and they produced that week’s newspaper.
On the way home Wednesday, as soon as clear transmission from San Diego occurred, we listened to you, the most accurate and calm voice of information we found.
Thanks for keeping us posted as we sped home. Because of the early morning information on the Village News Web site and your constant updates, by the time we got to Fallbrook we knew exactly which roads were open and the name of the evacuation center that would accept us.
Kudos to your station and the Village News for knowing what’s important and how to keep people accurately informed.