Long day at "work"

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ZBaum, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. ZBaum

    ZBaum Guest

    Well, first you might want to start off by reading at least a bit of this:

    http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=576300&category=&BCCode=&newsdate=3/29/2007

    When they began evacuating that part of campus, no one had any clue what was going on. Rumors ranged from chemical spills and gas leaks to bomb threats and shootings. My editor told me to go out with my camera and see what I could get photos of. I did just that, and inadvertently ended up a lot closer to the action than I should've been. Most of the area was taped off well away from the closest entrance to the scene of the death. I found an access road that was open, and decided to walk down it until I came to a taped off area. I stopped when I came to that place, but quickly found that I was in a place I shouldn't be. A SWAT officer walked out of a door BEHIND where I was, and I decided I needed to snap a few photos and get the h*ll out. As I walked back the way I came, I was approached from behind by two personnel, and they insisted that I was to be escorted back through the taped-off area. I got a nice walk past all of the other media cameras, and ended up among them at the end.

    With all that said, it certainly wasn't a good move on my part, but it was entirely accidental. I never want to be that close to a uniformed SWAT officer again in my life.

    Here's a pretty simple map of my walking route. The yellow dots are my walking path, the red lines are barriers that they set up, the blue line is where there SHOULD have been a barrier, and the green dots are my path when I was escorted out and walked across to the other media. All-in-all, a very stressful and disturbing day.

    [​IMG]

    EDIT: I might also add, that the victim was from a town that I visit quite frequently (Amherst, MA is the location of UMASS). It hits home on a few fronts...
     
  2. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Zach,
    I am sure this was very stressful and disturbing for the entire school
    I am so sorry anyone has to go thruough this.
    Thank you for sharig
     
  3. ZBaum

    ZBaum Guest

    Thanks Gale. It was quite tough. We had a bit of trouble getting into our office in order to make our special edition, as the school closed the Student Union where our office is located. We ended up getting special permission from one of the administrators, who was quite upset that the Union was closed in the first place. After the first press conference, I couldn't force myself to go to the second one. My fellow editors told me that when the local newspapers and news channels heard that it was a suicide and not a homocide, they were visibly put-off and upset that they didn't have a "better" story. They (the other local media members) proceeded to walk out as the chief of police was still talking. It's really quite sad to me that the level of respect is that low for some people.
     
  4. heiko

    heiko

    May 15, 2005
    Israel
    Thanks for sharing this story and your picture, Zach. Regarding your last comment, it is truly sad that the news business is all about business and quite little about truth or respect. Seems like few people care about a suicide victim, but a lot more about a homicide at a college or university. The news media need to capture the attention of the masses to get good ratings (for advertisers) or high circulation. I better stop now.
    Again thanks for sharing.
     
  5. Rays Stuff

    Rays Stuff

    309
    Sep 6, 2006
    I work in the media. If they were upset it was because of the time they spent covering something they could not use when they could have been on something else. I normally ask the cops if this is something we should be interested in and normally they avoid the question meaning it is something we are interested in or they'll tell us if it's a suicidal type personal family thing and we quietly leave.

    Suicides declined on the Golden Gate when they stopped advertising them in the media.

    Also, sometimes when you deal with grief for a living you can't go around in tears over every tragedy. That's why you see cops, fireman and media occasionally laugh or smile at the scene of a death. If I haven't seen Trooper Bob for awhile I might ask him how his daughters graduation party went. Bystanders miss-interpret his smile. But you can bet, we aren't laughing about anything we see at a tragedy. On the other hand, I've witnessed enough bystanders laughing and hollering to try and get on camera even though a family may be grieving just across the street.
     
  6. ZBaum

    ZBaum Guest

    It's not so much that they were talking in a desensitized manner, but rather, they were being disrespectful. In this case, they didn't know whether it was a suicide or a homocide at first, and once they did know, then they informed the media. I know that "advertising" something like this isn't always a great idea, but this is a pretty rare occurrence for my college campus, and even for the surrounding area. Perhaps it's a monthly or even a weekly occurrence at the Golden Gate Bridge (which is pretty horrible if it is, but I have heard statistics which seemed to suggest that it is a common event), but not here. On one hand the media people that were here may have been treating it as any other journalist would've, but on the other hand, it was disrespectful to the college and to those who don't see it as an everyday part of their lives.
     
  7. Rays Stuff

    Rays Stuff

    309
    Sep 6, 2006
    There is no doubt we are looking at a new day and age in the media. Where once the job was viewed in the same light as becoming a policeman or fireman, now they view the job as becoming famous. Where once we walked around with "get it correct" as a banner to walk behind, now the "get a bigger story count" so it looks like we are on the pulse of news.

    I'm at the end of my career. I wouldn't recommend a carrer in TV News to anyone as the business is changing for the worse.
     
  8. Rays Stuff

    Rays Stuff

    309
    Sep 6, 2006
    There is no doubt we are looking at a new day and age in the media. Where once the job was viewed in the same light as becoming a policeman or fireman, now they view the job as becoming famous. Where once we walked around with "get it correct" as a banner to walk behind, now the "get a bigger story count" so it looks like we are on the pulse of news.

    I'm at the end of my career. I wouldn't recommend a carrer in TV News to anyone as the business is changing for the worse. When what happens on TV's "Survivor" is considered a news story I know it's time for me to get out as we've lost all sense of perspective.
     
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