Sarah D: When you can't get enough news

It's impossible to concentrate today. No one wants to pull their eyes away from the TV or the web long enough to get any significant work done. The earthquake in Japan and resulting tsunami is all we want to know about. Little else seems to matter on a day like this.

Think back to the events that have stopped a nation. Terror attacks on 9-11. The space shuttle Challenger explosion. The San Francisco earthquake. President Kennedy's assassination. I'm trying to come up with a positive event, but I can't think of one.

But my how times have changed since the '60s, when JFK was assassinated. Walter Cronkite delivered the news to the country, and he was the major source people turned to for information.

Today, we're overloaded with choices: 24-hour news channels, continuous network coverage, and countless websites. And on a day like this, we're looking for every scrap we can get. It is truly remarkable the coverage we're seeing, and what we come to expect in coverage. Live shots all around the world, up-to-the-minute updates, live blogs. The news-gathering is lightening fast and surprisingly accurate in a situation that changes by the minute. Reporters put their lives on the line to bring you that coverage. Melissa Shriver told me this morning, "When the end of the world comes, I'm not going to be with my family, I'm going to be out covering it." That's not how she'd like it, but it's the reality of the news business.

As we watch this story develop, and we look for local angles to this devastation, we never forget the people who are living it. And if history is any indication, the American people, Tri-State residents included, will be quick to send money to the agencies and people who need it. We'll keep you posted on how you can help.

Take care ~Sarah