Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Advice To the Bay Area TV News Community on Not Getting Robbed in Oakland, (And Elsewhere)

 1. Might be a good idea to send unmarked white vans to the location of the story, you know-- without your logo plastered all over. In other words, don't give the bad guys any more help then they already have. Not that it'll be an end-all but it can't hurt.


2. Hire permanent security guards! Yeah, it's expensive but it beats the alternative. If you can pay stringers 2 grand for cell-phone video, you can afford a hundred bucks for a guard.


3. This may sound silly but have your personnel --reporters, camera people, etc. be aware of their surroundings. Be vigilant. Yeah, I know you're news people but you're just as vulnerable as anyone else. Pretty obvious nowadays.


4. Be a little smart. Don't do a live shot under a freeway. And yes I know that if you're covering a certain story you'd like to be right at the scene of the story but you don't need to be, necessarily, exactly on point--it would be best if you did your report where other reporters were stationed. I know this is sort of radical but then again, you've become targets. Speaking of which...


5. It's good to act, not react, but there's been literally thousands of live shots from the streets of Oakland and nothing has happened. I would bet the bulk that many of these thugs are some kids from the same group. They probably work in packs and spread the word when you guys show up but I'm betting when OPD catches one of these guys, and they will eventually, they'll be a noticeable reduction if not disappearance of these incidents.


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13 comments:

  1. 6. Stay out of Oakland, St. Louis, Beirut, Caracas, Ciudad Juarez, Bagdad and Islamabad.
    Best to report from afar.

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    1. A very good friend of mine from my Dallas days is fluent in Spanish and says even folks down in south America call Caracas "crack-ass" because of the poverty and crime. Niall Fergerson says they're called emerging markets because they are where emergencies happen. From what I can see that's generally true.

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  2. Many of the trucks they use ARE unmarked, thougvh I don't know if the one last night was. A bigger question is why the door was unlocked, unless someone bashed the window in and unlocked the door, in which case the question is how did Heather and the photog not hear that?

    Here's another idea: in this era of special effects, and with ILM not far away, contract George Lucas and pals to green screen every live shot. Face it, you'd never know if Heather were standing outside police HQ or a projection of police HQ.

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    1. Isn't Heather a CG creation anyhow?

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  3. Frankly I've never understood the impact of standing outside the police station (or whatever) and reporting on something that happened several hours ago. They'd do just as well with a photo of the building and the reporter at a desk.

    There are time when a remote shot does help impart info but for the most part I think they're silly.

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  4. Maybe not do a live shot in the middle of the night in a deserted area hours after whatever had happened there is already over. Not saying that was the case with Ms. Dwyer the other night, but too often those shots look ridiculous when it's obvious nothing is happening there and hasn't for many hours.

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    1. You're confusing your news-babes.... It was Heather Holmes, who is still employed and still forced to do live shots (no, I didn't say "snots").

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  5. Did Channel 5 really used to be called Instant Eye?

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    1. james farnlacherJune 17, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      Ya and clint casually strolled the streets of San Francisco...... as Dirty Harry.

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  6. No. That was the name of our new microwave truck. ("New" in the late 70s.)

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  7. "Might be a good idea to send unmarked white vans to the location of the story, you know-- without your logo plastered all over. In other words, don't give the bad guys any more help then they already have."

    Yeah, because the thugs won't notice the giant satellite dish and antennae on the van or the cameraman, sound guy and reporter.

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    1. Ha. Local news crews haven't hired a "sound guy" in 20years. In fact, the only network news bureau left in SF (CBS) let their sound man go five years ago.

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    2. "Sound guy"? ;-)

      Ya been watching too many 70s movies.

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