CBS, NBC Team With Their Local Stations to Cover Newtown Tragedy
'We're all sharing,' says CBS' David Friend
By Tim Baysinger -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/14/2012 4:12:31 PMNets Went to Continuing Coverage Much of Friday After School Shooting
As yet another mass shooting tragedy occurred Friday
morning, this time at an Eastern Connecticut Elementary School,
broadcast nets including CBS and NBC teamed up with their local O&Os.
Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a gunman opened fire, killing over two dozen people, many of whom were children. The shooting is the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Only the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech University had more casualties.
"We're all sharing," said David Friend, news director of WCBS and WLNY, and senior VP of news for the CBS station group. Friend said WCBS lent their reporters that were on the scene in Newtown to CBS News' national coverage, along with their news chopper and any video they had. CBS News has shared their resources as well, he said. "We've had their correspondents on and we're all newsgathering and sharing information."
Newtown, Conn., is part of the New York City DMA.
Friend said that the CBS-owned stations in Philadelphia and Boston helped out as well, sending their own correspondents to contribute. "Being part of the CBS O&O group means that we all share resources and we all contribute to the coverage of the story."
NBC-owned stations also teamed with each other to help cover the tragedy. A spokesperson for WVIT Hartford said that KNTV and KNBC in California and WCAU in Philadelphia "instantly volunteered support and sent crews and resources to assist." WNBC in New York provided visuals from its news chopper. NBC News and MSNBC also leveraged WVIT as reporters from the Connecticut station contributed to both networks' coverage.
In a fast-developing story like this, Friend said the most important thing is accuracy. "In a situation like this that's breaking [and] developing, there are many different sources reporting many different bits of information." He says he doesn't want false information adding to the agony of the situation. "There are many lives being affected by what we tell and what we report."
He said he would consider looking at how other stations around the country have covered similar events, including the movie theater shooting in Colorado in July. But that would be for a later time. "Right now it's [about] getting to the scene and reporting the information as accurately and reliably as we can."
Covering a story that has such an emotional slant to it provides its own set of challenges, including the ability to remain objective at a time when it's nearly impossible. "We are part of our community," says Friend. "We want to report as accurately and as dispassionately as we can, but you can't help but let your human emotions creep into a story like this.
"Our hearts are breaking along with the people in our area."
ans to gun problems:why not build the entrance to any scvhool made of the same stuff that protect bank tellers then add someone with a scanner for every school in the country tj
thomas johnson - 1/8/2013 6:50:47 PM EST
We are all grieving and angry about the school shooting today (12/14/2012). It’s a tragedy beyond comprehension. I know there will be cries nationwide about gun control. But I have another theory about some of the escalating violence and it involves the media and their obsession with over-playing and replaying this kind of tragedy. I will not be able to turn on my television set until at least Christmas unless I want to hear this story over and over again.
I am not a biblical student but I believe that somewhere in the Bible there is a statement (paraphrased) saying “As a man thinketh, so is he”. And the news media are telling us, especially the mentally unstable, that violence and school shootings are the norm. Or perhaps violence is how to get attention in a BIG way. The mentally ill are oftentimes needing some recognition or acceptance and if violence is sensationalized, they may conclude over time that if they are violent they will be recognized.
I know this is an oversimplication but you get the drift. I am suggesting the the media outlets take action among themselves to monitor their own somewhat sick behaviors – almost played in such a way that the media are as mentally ill as the perpetrators of the violence. I believe that if the media would just present the facts without sensationalism, without endless analyzing, and without mindless overplaying of the subject, they would be taking a HUGE step toward calming down the violence.
The above would have to be a voluntary move inside the media community. Their community would need to set some standards for themselves so as not to impinge on the right to free speech. But we need them to help deflate the sensationalism that such shootings are getting. The media needs to take responsibility about how and how often they present their stories.
Sharon Nash - 12/16/2012 3:09:40 PM EST
What has happened to our common courtesy and decency? When will we as a people allow others to grieve in privacy instead of showing the whole world the horrible grief of parents; grandparents; siblings; friends, etc. when such a tragedy happens as the horrible killing of sweet innocent children and of teachers and others? Are we so into our own callousness and wanting to watch this awful tragedy as it unfolds; have we become so hardened that we just wait for the next picture and sounds of heart rending grief? I beleieve that the news media has gotten totally out of control and has no concern or feeling for these horrific events--just want to be the first and supposedly the best to "report"--up close and personal--the faces and the cries of anyone they can capture in the camera lens! Enough is ENOUGH!!
Malinda Huddleston - 12/15/2012 9:49:43 AM EST
My heart is broken and heavy with pain for all of us as a people in light of these senseless acts. To the families and community of Newtown, CT I submit this poem to express how all of us must feel.
If Tears Could Build A Stairway
If tears could build a stairway,
and memories a lane.
I would walk right up to Heaven
and bring you back again.
No farewell words were spoken,
No time to say "Goodbye".
You were gone before I knew it,
and only God knows why.
My heart still aches with sadness,
and secret tears still flow.
What it meant to love you -
No one can ever know.
But now I know you want me
to mourn for you no more;
To remember all the happy times
life still has much in store.
Since you'll never be forgotten,
I pledge to you today~
A hollowed place within my heart
is where you'll always stay.
Patricia A. Johnson - 12/15/2012 8:58:07 AM EST
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