Cable NEws Rushes to cover Malaysia

ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox News are among the TV networks that will offer expanded programming Thursday evening to cover the Malaysia Airlines disaster that has taken place earlier in the day in Ukraine.

ABC, NBC, and CBS will offer hour-long versions of “World News,” “NBC Nightly News” and “CBS Evening News,” the networks said Thursday afternoon. Fox News, meanwhile, said it would air a second hour of “The Kelly File With Megyn Kelly,” which will be broadcast live at 11 this evening. Fox News will on Friday launch its “Fox & Friends First” an hour earlier, starting the program at 4 a.m.

Many outlets are rushing to move personnel closer to the incident. CNN said it was covering the story from its Washington, D.C., operations but had personnel moving to report from Ukraine, Moscow, Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur.  CBS News said it had sent correspondent Mark Phillips to Ukraine;  Seth Doane to Malaysia; and Elizabeth Palmer to Holland.

Malaysia Airlines suffered another air disaster in March, when one of its flights went missing and whose ultimate end remains a mystery. Critics suggested some of the coverage of that event was sensational, even though it helped fuel ratings for CNN and other outlets and captivated many news aficionados.

Coverage of Thursday’s incident may be less about the chase for viewers and more about digging into a troubling event. Ukrainian officials have suggested the flight was downed as the result of an act of terrorism, saying the plane may have been shot down by a Russian-made anti-aircraft system.

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