In addition to hours of wall-to-wall coverage, Albuquerque, N.M., TV stations have collected truckloads of clothing and other aid for those in Los Alamos who are newly homeless due to fires.
But if crisis coverage highlights a station's community commitment, it may not always suppress competitive instincts.
Two of the market's network affiliates say the third was less than cooperative when it came to sharing pool video. Both KOAT-TV and KRQE(TV) say KOB-TV failed to provide video of Utah Democratic Congressman Tom Udall's inspection to see if radioactive materials used in labs locally had been affected until the day after.
"All the other news crews were disappointed and upset that one station would be so reckless in [disregarding the] spirit of the pool situation," said krqe News Director Dan Salamone.
"This is the biggest story many of us will ever cover," said KOAT-TV News Director Pahl Shipley. "It's unbelievable to me that they would take a situation like this and try to turn it to a competitive advantage."
Both said it wasn't the first time they had had a pool problem with kob-tv.
KOB-TV News Director Chris Berg denied hoarding the material, and said his rivals were guilty of their own competitive posturing. "I know I'm in the crosshairs. We're in danger of quickly becoming the top dog in this market. Our people have better connections, so all of a sudden we're the pool camera. If [the other stations] don't request a dub, it's not my job to tell everyone we have pool video. My job is just to make pool video available."