Who’s out of line?! Round two

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!

DeKalb DA Robert James announces police indictments

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.

DeKalb County Courthouse

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!

This entry was posted in WAGA, WGCL, WSB, WXIA on by .

About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

4 thoughts on “Who’s out of line?! Round two

  1. Dirty Laundry

    LOVE the new game! (Insightful – but also educational to any newbies perusing this blog!)

  2. jimmyz

    This game is great!
    I certainly would have walked close enough to figure out if I was missing out on something important, then walked away if it was just a generic MOS to fill space.
    This is no different than Joe Homeowner telling us we can’t roll tape on his neighbors meth house even though we’re standing on a public sidewalk.

    Lesson for the stalkee, next time take your “exclusive” interview to a less obvious location

  3. Anonymous

    A few corrections to your scenario…

    First, when the reporter from Station B called said unrelated source to meet her at the courthouse, the press conference had not yet been announced and no other crews were at the courthouse. She was working the story exclusively at that time.

    Second, it was very clear that when the reporter from Station L arrived at the courthouse, he not only had no clue what the story was about, but no clue who the unnamed source was.

    The Station B reporter did relocate several times with the source, and asked the reporter from Station L to ‘take a hike’ several times (your words, not mine).
    The Station B reporter even paused to give Station L reporter a chance to ask the source anything he wanted, which he couldn’t do because he had no idea who the source was or what the story was.

    In the end, Station B ended up with the exclusive anyway (one of the victims from the case that was being indicted) thanks in part to the photographer from Station L verbally attacking the reporter from Station B, leaving the source believing that Station L was completely unprofessional. No harm, no foul.

    Btw, I welcome the new addition to your site.


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