A correspondent in San Francisco first notices on Twitter: “Cessna down in Grand Canyon some German tourists in the plane, may be fatalities.” A tourist posted the tweet and it was accompanied with a blurry photo where you can just make out a plane crash. This is a good starting point, but not enough for a report.
The correspondent then calls the police in Flagstaff, Arizona, which is near the Grand Canyon. While on hold, she looks at possible flights she could take from San Francisco to Flagstaff. The police get back to her and say they have not heard of anything.
Her second phone call is to the National Park Service. They confirm there has been an accident. She probes: Cessna, Germans, and fatalities? They cannot confirm this information but confirm the accident. The reporter sends out a notice to dpa’s clients: dpa is on it, but we don’t have enough to build a reliable report yet.
That changes with the next phone call. The police chief confirms that a Cessna crashed with a pilot and four German tourists on board. “One person has a broken leg, one woman with terrible bruises. But everyone survived and they are doing well, all things considered. Their passports say they come from a city called Darmstadt.”
The correspondent in San Francisco writes a notice and sends it to Berlin. In the editing office “Panorama” the editor on staff asks a colleague on the dpa-Infographic team whether he can prepare a graphic showing the accident in the Grand Canyon. The notice is read again and the colleague confirms: “You only included the age of two of the tourists and not the other two. Yeah, the police chief didn’t know the other two peoples’ ages. And what is North Rim? We need to explain that. Ok, then I’ll write ‘on the Northern edge of the canyon, where nearly five million tourists go annually.