Journalists interviewed in Iceland, Israel and the US in the aftermath of the Palme assassination gave markedly different accounts of how they first heard of the tragedy. Radio was the predominant first source of diffusion in Iceland, personal contacts were most important in Israel, and in the US no first source predominated. Shock and astonishment were the sharpest initial reactions. Although the event occurred during the early evening in the US, and post-midnight in the other two sites, the US journalists were the slowest to learn of the events. Few had direct professional involvement in their organization's response to the story. Differences among these sets of journalists suggest that time of day, coverage and access factors are more central to the diffusion process than their occupation.