Ship's Return Attracts Media Coverage

The return of the USS Cole to Ingalls shipyard attracted international media attention.

Ingalls' public affairs office issued press credentials to more than 40 different media outlets.

A sea of media was among the first welcoming groups to greet the Cole. Photographers aboard a media boat positioned themselves for the best pictures of the damaged destroyer as it began the trip through the Pascagola ship channel. The Cole's return is a significant story.

"We've got satellite trucks from the major networks," Ingalls Public Affairs Director Jim McIngvale said.  "We've got print media, we've got foreign press, we've got a full range of video, radio and still newspaper photographers and reporters."

Cameras captured close up shots of the tarp-covered damage to the Ingall's built destroyer.

But the real heart of the story involves those who lost loved ones in the terrorist attack. Norfolk, Virginia, news anchor, Regina Mobley, says such personal connections are widespread in the town the USS Cole calls home port.

"My cousin, for example, is a 'Cole wife.' My children's principal is a 'Cole mother.' Her son was killed on the USS Cole. And just very slowly, over a period of days, we began to see just how far reaching this story was," Mobley said.

Despite the number of media outlets in Pascagoula, the timing of the Cole's return will impact the amount of news coverage the story receives. The national presidential election drama will still be the lead story tonight, but the return of the Cole has international interest.

"There's a worldwide manhunt on for somebody who was the mastermind of all this and there's a good deal of suspicion and speculation as to who that might be. So there's a good deal of worldwide interest in this story, along with everything else that's going on in the news," CNN Reporter Charles Zewe said.