Who’s out of line?! is the wildly unpopular game started in this space earlier this week! In it, we examine actual moments of confrontation between competing Atlanta news crews, based on this blogger’s second-hand knowledge. If you missed the first round of Who’s Out of Line?!, you overlooked an exciting judgment made in this space that, based on the subsequent comments of a participant, may very well have been flawed. You can find Round One here.
Because these events are poorly researched and the blogger doesn’t know what he’s really talking about anyway, the names and TV stations have been omitted! Unless the principals decide to out themselves in the comments section!
Let’s press on with round two!
The situation: Atlanta TV stations are at the DeKalb County courthouse, covering a news conference announcing the indictment of three police officers. TV crews are parked directly in front of the courthouse, accessing the main entrance of the building to cover the story.
The scenario: Following the news conference, a reporter at Station B conducts an interview on a sidewalk outside the courthouse. The interviewee had nothing to do with the news conference. Observing this, a reporter from Station L walks within earshot of the interview to listen in, presumably to discern whether he too should interview this particular individual.
The confrontation: The reporter from Station B, who had apparently arranged the interview with the unknown individual, accuses the reporter from Station L of “stalking” her, and sternly invites the Station L reporter to take a hike.
The call: Like the reporter at Station B, I might have resented the intrusion of the reporter from Station L. Had the Station L reporter interrupted my interview, I would have barked. However, Station B‘s reporter should have chosen another location to conduct a “secret” or “exclusive” interview, when she knew that her competitors were on the property covering the same event.
Station L‘s reporter walked on public property to overhear a conversation taking place in full view of the public and assembled news media. Had I been the Station L reporter, I likely would have done the exact same thing.
Perhaps Station B‘s reporter knew she was being silly by accusing her competitor of “stalking” her– figuring it wouldn’t hurt to try to chase him away. But “stalking” is a loaded allegation. And given the fact that “stalking” is kind of part of the job description of TV reporters, the characterization was pretty laughable. Given the location, she should have kept it to herself.
Who’s out of line? The reporter at Station B blew up for no valid reason. Next time, don’t do a “secret” interview within eyeshot of your competition.
Thanks for playing!