Anyone involved with TV journalism, not to mention everyone else, has to be shocked at what happened to the crew from Virginia TV station WDBJ.
Reporter Alison Parker and camera person Adam Ward were shot and killed during their live shot for the TV station’s morning show, and the whole tragedy was broadcast live to everyone watching this show at home. From the reports it was an ex-employee who did this and who then turned the gun on himself.
This story hits a little too close to home for me personally because of my own TV background, having been out in the field doing standups back in the day. Now granted, that was mainly for sports reporting, but I never, ever worried about this sort of thing ever happening. Now, though, you have all kinds of nonsense going on with people disrupting reporters during their TV standups hurling insults and so on. So this is getting to be really scary for people out in the field.
The other thing is that this crew was doing a routine news story similar to what I do for a living now. They were interviewing someone from the local Chamber of Commerce and I do stories on our local Chamber of Commerce all the time. So, yeah, I’m thinking about a lot of things today.
What’s really sad is these were people at the beginning of their careers. Roanoke happens to be one of those smaller markets where people go before moving on to bigger and better things. Parker could have wound up in a major market or even one of these all-news channels one day.
So this is a tragedy and a sad day, and another day of violence in the United States of America. And as an aside, I want the Democrats and Republicans to just leave aside their “gun-control” politicking for at least one day — there will be plenty to discuss later on.