“Reached out….”

There’s a phrase that several television reporters are using over and over that conjures up picture of someone falling off a tall building, clinging to a cliff or  the reporter extending an arm to save someone.    What I think the reporter means by “reached out” is that the reporter tried to contact someone and that person did or did not get back to the  journalist.    Aren’t there more connotatively accurate ways of saying what you mean?

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