CHAPTER 2

SOMETHING’S NOT RIGHT

Diagnostic Questions

THERE ARE DAYS REPORTERS DREAD, but they come with the territory. A rumor, a phone call, and then a pit in your stomach, no matter how seasoned you are. A passenger jet has disappeared. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the crew. The plane vanished from radar screens. Airline and aviation authorities are racing to figure out what’s gone wrong. So are we.

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In the newsroom, we are scrambling, preparing to go on the air with the story. What exactly will we say? What do we know? Where will definitive information come from? And when? We deploy reporters. We’re all over the FAA and the FBI and the airline. We’re using new flight-tracking apps. We’re working sources, contacting anyone ...

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