The chase for Gianni Versace's killer through the mansions of Miami in July took place on live television, the first time we'd been part of a second-by-second melodrama. That's when we began to realize that cable TV was the modern-day equivalent of the old ticker tape: here's the latest, here's what we know... stay tuned, because it can all change.
Most people were anticipating a quiet Labor Day weekend when the reports of an accident in Paris filtered in. Confirming the notoriously vague French news flashes was our first concern. After we realized the passenger was Diana, Princess of Wales, that she was with a man other than Prince Charles and that she might be dead, we began a quicksilver meld of journalistic adventure and tabloid sensation that may remain forever unmatched.
We were aided enormously by Sky, our British sister network. Its able correspondents knew the rites of royalty, and they helped us explain to the American audience the elaborate, centuries-old rituals that govern the way a noble is bade farewell.
We needed no translation, though, for the genuine grief that swept the U.K. Diana was, in the finest sense, the People's Princess. The affection her life inspired was as real as the ugly details of her death.
We thought nothing could be as moving as Diana's death until, a few days later, we learned that Mother Teresa, the Saint of the Gutters, had attained her eternal reward. The question: How to avoid overlooking the saintliest woman in the world in order to mount appropriate funeral coverage of one of its most glamorous?
In the end, we were in both Calcutta and London, and found in each an outpouring of grief and love that reaffirmed the human spirit.
John Moody serves as the Senior Vice President, News Editorial for FOX News. He is responsible for both the design and editorial direction of FOX News Channel and oversees all story content for FOX News.