by Robert Horan
( mature content advisory)
On August 26, 2015, a former WDBJ anchor shot and killed two co-workers as the they were live on air. Vester Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, shot reporter Allison Parker and her cameraman Adam Ward as they were conducting a live interview for their morning newscast.
While extremely tragic, and hard for any journalist to report on, it is still and important moment in the history of journalism. I can imagine that the staff at WDBJ had answer the question, ” how do we cover a story like this.” They had to to their own research into the crime but had to be careful revealing too much to the public. For example, Flanigan posted videos of the shooting for his point of view. Since those videos were evidence of the crime, WDBJ had to decide if they were going to share them live on TV or not.
With today’s technology, many Americans have access to a DVR of some sort. The difficulty with this was that any person could rewind the “tape” and make their own accusations about what happened. This lead to a look of confusion on social media about what actually happened.
Finally, this was a hard story to report on for any journalist because they are reporting a job they they currently do. Journalists are like family.
Personally , I was upset while watching the news unfold because I want to pursue a career in broadcast media. However, while I admire how the journalists covered the crime. The were calm and collected on air, and I think they reported on the tragic situation well.