Scooping the World on Breaking News

By Garvin Thomas
|  Sunday, Jan 10, 2010  |  Updated 8:30 PM PDT
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6.5 NorCal Earthquake Damage Images

Ferndale Enterprise

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If the Internet has killed the newspaper, as we have been told so many times, it appears someone forgot to tell Caroline Titus.

Titus is the owner, publisher, editor, reporter and just about everything else for the Ferndale Enterprise.

The Enterprise is very likely the smallest newspaper in all of California.  It comes out in printed form and only once a week.  But the paper just beat everyone else on the biggest story of the day: the north coast earthquake.

A 6.5 earthquake hit a few miles off the Humboldt County coast Saturday afternoon just before 4:30 p.m.  People across California and across the country were instantly hungry for details.  

Titus says she was in downtown Ferndale three minutes after the earth shook.   She did what reporters do.  She started asking questions and taking pictures.

After a couple of hours, she had the story.

"I sat there and thought: What do I do now? It's Saturday.  We don't come out 'til Thursday," Titus said.

She said her daughter knew what to do.  She told Titus, "Mom, get these on twitter right away."

And away they went.  Titus' photos and captions became the go to source for coverage Saturday night.

Her tweets were retweeted and her pictures broadcast and reprinted around the world.

A small, old newspaper used the newest tools to become the biggest game around.

For 131 years, The Ferndale Enterprise has been the paper of record for the historic Victorian Village and surrounding areas. The award-winning publication – one of the smallest in California, we might add – covers Ferndale like a blanket with news of the dairy industry, city politics, hard-hitting editorials, school news, old-fashioned social columns, art news and sports stories, as well as features on locals that make the Cream City such a unique place to call home.

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