There was quite a response via social media late Thursday from people asking us to stop airing/running video of the Rangers Ballpark accident involving Brownwood Firefighter Shannon Stone.
Video was shown during 10 p.m. broadcasts on Thursday and posted online before the extent of the injuries were known. It was during the newscast that we learned Mr. Stone has died.
Shortly thereafter, we learned more about the incident and continued to update bigcountryhomepage.com, Facebook, and Twitter. It was at that time that folks started asking us to take down the video of the accident.
I'll be honest: my initial reaction was to continue using the video. Out of respect for the situation, I don't want to dissect the reasons why. However, I initially felt it was still newsworthy.
A lengthy discussion ensued in both the KTAB and KRBC newsrooms about what they wanted to do. In the end, both stations decided not to run the video for various reasons. In some cases, the decision making process and debate lasted for hours.
Here's some of the reasoning they shared in memos to their respective staffs:
"Out of respect to the family, KTAB has chosen not to show video of the accident at the Ballpark At Arlington which claimed the life of Brownwood fireman Shannon Stone," wrote KTAB managing editor Bob Bartlett. " If video comes down showing the ambulance or paramedics at work, that would be okay. However, the video of the fall should not be used, nor anything that shows Stone before or after the accident."
"KRBC will not air the video that shows the firefighter in the stands," wrote KRBC Executive Producer Mark Moseley in a memo to his newsroom staff. "I have sat here for the last two hours contemplating this. The deciding factor for me is the fact that Mr. Stone's young son can be seen in this shot."
I'm very proud of both newsrooms for giving this situation the deep thought and respect it deserves. I fully support their respective decisions and am glad both chose the high road -- especially when their boss' gut decision leaned otherwise.
I hope you take pride in their decision as well.
Friday, July 8, 2011
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