WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Staging the News

Nov 29, 2016

A photo shows ABC News staged a live shot by placing yellow police tape behind a reporter who was at a crime scene. The tape was tied to two camera stands, which were kept out of the network's camera shots.

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton is incensed. She said it’s an example of why people don’t trust journalists.   Though it might seem like a small detail, Crighton said it’s a form of sensationalizing news.

Crighton said it’s a disservice to all journalists when a reporter engages in deception to enhance a story. 

Panelist Will Buss concurred.  He said there is a growing distrust of reporters and this doesn’t help matters for them.

Buss said it is possible tape had been up earlier before being removed by police. But he said that’s no excuse for staging a shot.  Buss said just as reporters should not take words out of context, they also should not alter images in a way that changes the audience’s perception.

Panelist Rich Egger said staging shots is no different than cases of journalistic plagiarism that we occasionally hear about. 

And he said such fakery is also possible with audio through the use of sound effects recordings.  He said reporters should stick to using sound they gather at the scene of a story.