New Jersey Public Station Uses Facebook to Report Bomber Story

By Kevin Eck 

New Jersey PBS affiliate NJTV executive producer Phil Alongi was one of the first on the scene in Elizabeth, New Jersey shortly before midnight last night after five pipe bombs were found by by two men coming out of a bar.

Alongi used Facebook to report the story live, making NJTV one of the first stations in the nation’s top market to give viewers new information on the quickly unfolding story, which culminated with the manhunt and later arrest of bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami.

“I was monitoring social media and read about the initial response from local PD. I had run my reporters around all weekend covering the incidents in Seaside Park and Chelsea, so I figured I’d handle this one myself and get my fix of being out in the field again (I’m always in the control room!),” Alongi told TVSpy. “I grabbed my press credentials and two spare phone batteries and drove to the Elizabeth Train Station about ten minutes from my house. When I arrived, I walked right past what was at a time a very loose perimeter of the devices.”

Authorities think that the bombs were planted by Rahami. No one was injured, though two FBI robots were disabled, after the bombs were detonated around 12:30 p.m.

“Four hours and two batteries later,” said Alongi. “We reached a quarter million viewers on our Facebook page with viewers from all over the world.”