Special Reports

News crews from across U.S. descend on city

National media swarmed Wichita on Monday following the shooting of Wichita physician George Tiller. Crews of reporters, producers and photojournalists from media organizations such as Fox News, ABC News, CNN and NBC News arrived in town late Sunday.

It marked the first time that the city appeared in the national spotlight since the BTK case resurfaced in 2004.

"What was interesting was how quickly the media learned about this," Chad Cross, news director for KWCH Channel 12, said of the Tiller shooting.

"Within the first hour or two after the shooting happened, we were getting phone calls from London," Cross said.

On Monday, about 10 satellite trucks from local and national news organizations were parked near the Sedgwick County Courthouse after a morning briefing by the District Attorney's Office.

Photographer John Tygart was one of them. He drove from Kansas City with three TV reporters on Sunday to provide live coverage for the Kansas City Fox affiliate, WDAF-TV FOX 4.

"We're a freelance group, and we're working for Fox network today," Tygart said as he packed up photo and video equipment.

Several CNN reporters from across the country were also at the courthouse on Monday morning after flying into town Sunday night.

Jonathan Schaer, a CNN photojournalist, had come from Atlanta, while a group of eight reporters and producers had come from Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. They spent part of the morning working out of a satellite truck parked in front of the courthouse.

Schaer and other members of the news crew are providing live broadcasts for CNN. They also traveled around Wichita on Monday to capture video and still photos for "The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer.

Newspapers and news outlets from across the nation and around the world also carried news of Sunday's shooting, including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the BBC and the Wall Street Journal. The New York Times ran a story about the shooting on the front page of Monday's paper.

Many of the journalists from national news organizations said they planned to stay in town for several days to provide live and continuing coverage from Wichita.

At Reformation Lutheran Church on Monday, Al Henkel, an NBC News producer, set up cameras and equipment in front of the church, next to a pile of floral bouquets and wreaths.

Henkel and a crew of reporters and producers drove from Dallas on Sunday to provide coverage in Wichita.

Kelly Glasscock, a local freelance photographer who occasionally works for The Eagle, was also at the church taking photos for Getty Images, an international news photo service.

"There's always the heated debate on abortion," Glasscock said later. "Given the circumstances of where it happened and how it happened along with the debate with abortion, I think people are interested in it."

Dustin Deckard, a local community activist who organized Sunday night's vigil in honor of Tiller, has done interviews with several news outlets including "Good Morning America," USA Today and the CBS "Early Show."

"I think it's an issue that doesn't just affect Wichita," Deckard said. "It's a global issue. I've gotten e-mails from health clinics in Canada and several in Europe just expressing their feelings on the issue."

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