COLUMN: The ingredients of a national news blip

It’s not the most interesting or compelling story of the year from Parker, AZ, but you can never tell what the news outlets are going to find newsworthy.

A fireworks show ending in a (not particularly large) brush fire here on Monday night caught the attention of the national press, who reported it with the following headlines after Parker Live posted it here:

  • Independence Day celebration turns sour in US – Vanguard
  • Fireworks display sets off wildfire at Arizona resort – New York Post
  • Fourth of July fireworks display sparks brushfire in Arizona – TODAY
  • Fireworks were great, then the desert started burning – Daily Mail
  • Fireworks spark wildfire in Arizona – Washington Post

The national nature of this had a lot to do with timing. Big news organizations are looking for holiday-related stories over the 4th of July weekend anyway, and since most branches of government aren’t producing any of the news they normally do, it provides more room for stuff like this.

Another big factor that made it interesting for today’s generation of news publishers was the existence of photos and videos of the incident. This can’t be overstressed – they’re all looking for interesting things to look at, and this fit the bill. Parker local John Croteau’s video got shared a bunch, which was cool.

And for those who haven’t seen it, here’s BlueWater’s own video of the whole show, fed live to Facebook as it happened on Monday.


All the ingredients were there for a perfect 2017 news story, whether it can match tea-partying skeletons or volunteer prosecutors or not.



  1. Kathi Jean Andrews

    Thought the wildfire was in the Prescott area?!?

  2. Candyce Kidd

    Gene Smith is this ur video

  3. Frank Goodyear

    Since it actually happened on the 3rd it got a jump on the 4th news activities. We have had worse fires from fireworks. They never mentioned the fire trucks standing by and that everything was under control. This one wasn’t even big enough for staging for training. I think the motive of the media was to show the dangers of fire works even by professionals. Parker just happened along at the right time.

  4. Agree, it goes down as a safety reminder story, which is always solid material.

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