Boston Manhunt: Media Coverage in Overdrive

Anchors for major news nets were roused from sleep in the wee hours of Friday morning, kicking off a Boston-centered media frenzy surrounding the marathon bombing suspects that is approaching its 12th hour.

As of 12:30 p.m. EST, coverage was dominated by press conferences being led by Massachusetts State Police Timothy P. Alben, who said they were exploring ‘new leads in the last few minutes’ and advised the public to take an ‘abundance of caution.’

The surge of news began last night after a shooting at MIT that resulted in the death of a campus police officer. By around 12:30 a.m. EST, chaos erupted in Watertown, Mass., as explosions and gunfire rattled off in the night.

Local news outlets, including WCBV and CBS Boston, were the only ones on the ground at the time, which left national viewers tuning into streaming feeds of the coverage online before cable news nets and then broadcasters broke in to their late night programming.

With news crews being sectioned off from the ever-expanding crime scene and danger zone last night, cablers including CNN turned to civilians in their apartments at the scene for details on the situation, bringing updates to TV viewers via Skype and Twitter.

All cable and broadcast news nets were notably cautious in linking the MIT and Watertown events to the Boston Marathon bombings, their conservative approach a clear result from a week of media flubs and inaccurate reporting.

Ayem news has been devoted to coverage of the assumed stand off between suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is believed to be holed up in Watertown. His brother and fellow suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed last night after being shot by officers when he ran towards them with an IED strapped to his body.

Story developing…

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