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Hannah Graham Case Garners National and International Attention

Posted: Updated: Sep 22, 2014 06:27 PM
Chief Longo being interviewed on the Today Show Chief Longo being interviewed on the Today Show

The disappearance of University of Virginia second-year student Hannah Graham is gaining national and international media attention.

TV news crews from Richmond and Washington along with the national networks are standing by for live updates from the Charlottesville police station. Cable network news crews are set up along the downtown mall to deliver live updates to audiences worldwide. A reporter from a newspaper in the Graham family's home country of England is even in Charlottesville covering the case.

The city's police chief, Tim Longo, is making the rounds on network news programs. Monday Matt Lauer interviewed Longo as part of the Today Show's coverage of the Hannah Graham case, sharing the story developing in Charlottesville with millions of viewers nationwide.

Monday nearly every newspaper front page in Virginia - from the Roanoke Times and Washington Post to the University of Virginia's Cavalier Daily - featured headlines from Sunday's press conference with police and Hannah Graham's parents.  Reporters at the Cavalier Daily are covering the case between classes and exams to report a side of this story only students can tell.

“We're in a unique position to be able to relay emotion and empathy and a perspective that other organizations really can't provide because of our position on grounds as a student newspaper,” said Rebecca Lim, the Cavalier Daily's editor-in-chief.

The student-run newsroom is dedicating its front pages to Graham. Kelly Kaler's byline tops the articles. “You have to really immerse yourself in it, or else I feel we're not doing it justice. I think there's a huge emotional component that needs to be told as well,” she stated.

Kaler, the Cavalier Daily's assistant managing editor, has been covering the press conferences and searches between exams and classes. “Right now, this is our priority. I wouldn't have it any other way. I think that's the only way this is going to get the coverage it needs,” she stated.

It's a personal story for the Cavalier Daily staff; some of them call Hannah Graham a friend. “It definitely comes with an added, extra kind of pressure to do right by Hannah and to really use the information we're putting out there to bring her home,” Lim said.

When asked about why this case is getting so much media attention, Lim says Graham's parents explained it best in Sunday's press conference: because it is every parent's worst nightmare.

Charlottesville's city spokeswoman Miriam Dickler says she sends updates on the investigation to 146 members of the media - from every major TV network to a British newspaper that has a reporter right here in Charlottesville covering the case.

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