An emotional investment in the news

The search continues today for the Bucklin family. A plane, flown by Minnesota businessman Luke Bucklin and carrying three of his children, disappeared from radar in a storm over Wyoming several days ago.

The family, friends, and co-workers are allowing us all to experience the helplessness and hopefulness that they are, thanks to the medium in which Bucklin makes his living — the Internet.

The family is posting updates at lukeandginger.com, sharing thoughts and news as they get it. (The latest is a weak emergency locator transmitter signal has been detected.)

At Bucklin’s company, Sierra Bravo, we learn today that employees wanted to head to Wyoming to help the search, but it’s being conducted in an area that challenges even the most experienced. They’re allowing us to see how they’re trying to get through the day.

Bucklin’s church family has set up prayersforluke.com.

On Twitter, people are holding an online vigil with the hastag LukeComeHome. A Web site to collect all the tweets has been started at lukecomehome.com.

Bucklin’s own Twitter account helps to get a feel for the man, his personality, and his sense of humor:

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And on TwitPic, someone posted a very haunting — and heartwarming — image of a dark company, with the lights turned up bright in an office. It’s Bucklin’s office.

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In addition to providing comfort for people who know the Bucklins (I do not), the use of the medium is providing something else: A different way for the rest of us to experience a news story in real time, giving us an emotional investment in a story we might otherwise not have had.

  • Annabelle

    Hey guys at MPR!

    I am a regular listener, and I love your coverage of events like this.

    I am in seventh grade, and one of my girlfriends kneew the Bucklins. Everyine is wearing homeade paper hearts that say ” Blue for Bucklins: Luke come home.” I think that it is so sad for the family. But, I shall keep praying that they will come home safe.

    Thank you,

    Annabelle Ludwig

  • Bob Collins

    Thank you, Annabelle. Let’s hope for the best.

    B