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How Important is “Live” coverage?

Just how important is it for us to air live coverage on tv? Statistics show it brings in a higher volume of viewers, but is it worth the risk?

Fox news found that out when a car chase turned into a suicide and they didn’t cut the camera’s fast enough. After a forced commercial break they came back on air apologizing for not cutting the cameras away, but continued to air the clip of the chase leading up to the suicide later in the day.

The “about-to-die” image still attracts viewers, even though the clip of the man dead is seen as a faux pas. Why?┬áBarbie Zelizer, a communications professor at the University of Pennsylvania, says images of impending death can be just as effective on the public since they capture a powerful moment in the middle of a sequence of action.

Joelle

Comments

Keith
Reply

Yeah, I remember watching the O.J. Simpson chase and the fall of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Both of these events I watched live and would not look away for anything. Both had me entranced as I did not want to miss the outcome of the events, I felt a part of. Live coverage is important, it casts the reality of the world in which we live and not always in a negative light either. I believe the super bowl and the World Series are also live coverage!!

Casey
Reply

Honestly, I am disturbed by our world’s fascination with the concept of “about to die.” I understand why it is needed; however, because we as a people in a democratic nation have a right to know about what is happening in the world. However, I think there is a fine line between an individual’s right to know and respecting people’s privacy. For those of you who have or are taking any kind of Media Law & Ethics class, photographic subject’s rights to privacy are often the point of controversy in news rooms, etc. For example, people have differing opinions about whether or not it is acceptable to show images of fallen soldier’s funerals/ their coffins to the public. I personally feel that it is gross invasion of privacy; however, many in the media would disagree with me. I think the context of the “Live Coverage” makes a huge difference as Keith mentioned in his post.

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