Milwaukee Stations Halt Live Shots After TV Journalist Shootings

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Milwaukee TV stations are cutting back and even eliminating live reports from the field in response to the shooting of a reporter, photojournalist and the person they were interviewing in Virginia Wednesday.

“Out of an abundance of caution we are not planning any discretionary live field reports from the field today,” WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) news director Janet Hundley wrote in a memo to the newsroom.

“If there is breaking news we will discuss our options,” she wrote.

“As always be mindful” and “come to us with any concerns.”

WISN-TV (Channel 12) is also suspending live reports today “out of caution, and sensitivity to our employees,” said news director Chris Gegg in an email.

The station is also making counseling available “for anyone on our team if they need assistance,” Gegg said.

WITI-TV general manager Chuck Steinmetz said in a statement:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire staff of WDBJ-TV in Roanoke. Our industry is much like a family and every FOX 6 employee feels the loss and sympathizes with all involved.”

Local live shots from meetings, community events, accidents and fires and other news scenes by a stand up reporter and photojournalist are the backbone of local TV news.

It would also be no surprise if local stations, sensitive to the issue, chose not to air the shooting video during their own newscasts. The video has been widely viewed on the internet.

Earlier this morning a gunman believed to be a disgruntled former employee allegedly shot and killed television reporter Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, a cameraman, videographer and photographer, during a live shot for CBS affiliate WDBJ-TV (Channel 7) 7 in Roanoke, Va.

According to the Washington Post the alleged gunman posted video of the shooting on social media. The shooting occurred during a live interview with a member of the local chamber of commerce.

The gunman later reportedly died from what are believed to be self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

A third victim underwent surgery and is expected to recover.

“The safety of our staff members, especially our reporters, photographers, and newsroom engineers in the field, is always at the top of our minds,” said Gegg.

“Our team members know that if they feel unsafe to leave their assignment immediately.”

“But we also realize, as today’s shooting shows, violence can occur anywhere without warning.”

 

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