Cry for me

We haven’t spoken with her.  But we surmise that when WAGA reporter Stacy Elgin walked into the TV station Wednesday morning, she heard something like this:  “Stacy.  Last night, WSB’s Richard Elliott had a relative of one of the victims from the awful fatal wreck Monday on I-85.  She was very emotional.  We didn’t have it.  We need you to get that for us for tonight’s show.”  Elgin, knowing the likelihood of repeating that particular “get” was slim, made the call nonetheless.  And Elgin got lucky, at least as luck is defined within the world of local TV news.  The same woman appeared on WAGA’s news one day later.  Though not as hysterical, the woman was emotional and compelling.  And though they got beaten, the folks who produce WAGA’s news adequately played catch-up.

Most times, the grief-stricken kinfolk of the abruptly-killed want nothing to do with TV news.  But occasionally, they find that it’s therapeutic to speak publicly about their loved ones.  Rarely do they do it twice, the second time for the benefit of a TV station that saw it first on the broadcast of a competitor.

And the audience benefits from this…. how?

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5 thoughts on “Cry for me

  1. Rick Smith

    This is somewhat off the topic of how one must play catch-up from time to time, but I saw these two articles or “blogs” about the crying woman interview that Stacy got after Richard got, but it’s another reporter you didn’t mention who’s doing the telling here about how the interview came to be in the first place. Thought you’d like to take a look at them if you haven’t seen them already. If the links don’t work, they’re from the “blog” section of 11alive.com.

    http://www.11alive.com/news/columnist/blogs/blog_entry.aspx?storyid=113860

    http://www.11alive.com/news/columnist/blogs/blog_entry.aspx?storyid=113891

    Reply
  2. James

    As a former employee of WAGA, I know this first-hand. One time when I was working, Budd McEntee called the station FROM HOME, and DEMANDED that a reporter qwho just got back to the station after a live shot GO BACK TO THE CRIME SCENE HE JUST CAME FROM, and get sound with a person that had appeared on WSB.
    Unbelievable! I wouldn’t doubt that Stacey Elgin scenario one bit. If you keep chasing someone, you’ll never get ahead. You’ve got to pass them with your own ORIGINAL material.

    Reply
  3. Marc

    In my opinion, this is not good practice by the media to show grief stricken relatives crying and especially with chewing gum in their mouth while they are being asked question by reporters. I understand that reporters have a job to do, but isn’t there a code of decency you guys can follow. Maybe wait a couple of days before you ask them to speak on camera.

    Reply
  4. evets

    The audience benefits not at all. The station benefits by attracting more female viewers who love this kind of “news”.

    Reply

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