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The BBC's earliest reports were broadcast out of Newcastle, while Sky News was left scrambling and failed to get a reporter on the scene until the afternoon.
Over the coming days national newspapers, including The Independent, Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, would credit the local newspaper and website in their reports.
They also had a shareholding in Carlisle-based CFM Radio, holding a further stake in neighbouring Border Television."As with all tragedies like this, reporters and police help each other.You just work together and hopefully report fairly and accurately on what happened." And yet the surge highlights the value of a local news organisation rooted at the heart of a community.The Whitehaven News, along with all titles in the Cumbrian News Group, has in recent years invested in its online presence, and built up a strong social media network using some innovative techniques: a reward scheme set up earlier this year gives Facebook friends of the paper free advertising opportunities.Journalists last week used Facebook and Twitter to disperse information as soon as it was gathered.