The helicopter went into the sea around 2.00pm, and within half an hour there were Twitter and, using automatic feeds, Facebook posts about what had happened.
I was on air at the time and I found out through social media, which obviously plays a part in how the programme works. It's important for news to get to a live music show so we can avoid tasteless or offensive clashes between records or band names and current events. Helicopter Girl would have been out of the question yesterday. Given events at the G20, we came close to dropping the Clash's Rock The Casbah.
For me, living in Shetland, within the sound of offshore helicopter operations and with a heightened sense of the North Sea's dangers, yesterday's fatal crash was of enormous importance. But that was true for everyone in Scotland, where we all know someone who works 'offshore', and for whom the North Sea oil industry has, I think, something of the mythic importance that deep coal mining once had for my parents' generation. It is part of our identity.
I thought BBC Scotland (and I'm trying not be biased here; I do work for them, but this blog is staunchly independent!)reacted admirably and with both commitment and restraint. The story was both reported as a piece of live, developing news and placed carefully in context.
But the 'national' UK news, not just at six o'clock but throughout the evening, even when it was clear that 16 people were dead, didn't just lead on the G20 talks in London and the associated (mild) unrest, it insisted on relegating the helicopter crash way, way past the Obama-gives-Queen-Ipod fluff and the Royal Bank of Scotland vandalism. To say I was disgusted was putting it mildly. A reporting agenda had been set in London early in the morning, the coverage had been budgeted for and planned, and nothing, NOTHING was going to deflect that intensely metropolitan set of news values.
Even this morning, Radio Four is leading its news not an actual events in London, but on speculation as to what may or may not happen later in the day. By contrast, Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland is a live outside broadcast from Aberdeen Harbour, with reporters live in Peterhead and elsewhere. Only there could I find out the crucial fact, for Scotland (and Shetland) that Bond had suspended all North Sea operations. Something which could have major implications for the oil industry as a whole.
I can honestly say that I have never felt so betrayed, so overtly, by a set of journalistic decisions. Nor have I ever felt quite so Scottish.