Breaking News That Breaks Your Heart

A share a little “behind the scenes knowledge” with you.

When we go on the air for a broadcast, we have usually read through most of the scripts written by producers as well as ourselves. We usually know what we are going to say and throw in a little bit of ad-lib to give it the personal touch.

However, what makes TV news so interesting and exciting is the element of “breaking news” which can come at anytime. Often Wendy and I will be told seconds before we read the breaking news story and often given scant details. Sometimes, through experience and years in the business, you can tell what the story will be and how to shape it while looking at the video for the first time.

Sometimes you can’t … and can be just as shocked as the viewer when you’re reading the story for the first time. Such was the case tonight at 6pm.

At the start of our newscast, I was told in my ear by our producer Kevin that there was breaking news about a 17-year-old who’s car hit a retaining wall in Elizabeth Township. I read the story and alerted viewers to stay tuned for the latest developments. The video was of a cleared off crash site and since I had few details, there was no way to know how serious the crash was.

Five minutes later, Kevin cued me again.

Breaking news. Andrew you will read this. It’s an update on the accident in Elizabeth”.

That’s all I knew. Here is what I read as I saw it in the teleprompter for the first time … as I was reading it.

WE HAVE AN UPDATE TO THE BREAKING NEWS OUT OF ELIZABETH FORWARD. THE CORONER CONFIRMS– THE STUDENT INVOLVED IN A CAR CRASH LEAVING THE HIGH SCHOOL HAS DIED. POLICE SAY 17 YEAR OLD JOSEPH FISHER- FROM MONONGAHELA– WAS KILLED AFTER HIS CAR HIT A RETAINING WALL.

That was the copy that I read. It was jarring. It was also difficult to read. No, I did not know the young man and I also did not honestly expect to har the young man would die from his injuries.

Of the course of 90 minutes of news, you go through the series of emotions. Some you are ready for. Some you are not. That’s what makes what we do so exciting, but at times, it also makes it so painful and sad. I just thought I would share with you a moment in time in my world. A moment when the words I read were more than just words.

 

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