Side job freelancing for my local Patch for six months was my foray into live local reporting as news was happening.
The pay was gruesome and I eventually left Patch, but the local editors do monitor police scanners and show up to scenes of natural disaster, murders, accidents etc. Many news stories have been broken first by these localized reporters.
Twitter spreads breaking news in a nanosecond and I found out many big news events first via Twitter before it was reported in MSM,
I always scan my Facebook and Twitter for pop-up news stories.