Sometimes while covering the news, we become the news.
A WDJT-TV (CBS 58, Milwaukee, WI) live truck fell through the ice while working on a story about ice safety on Sunday.
Although no official word has been released from the driver, it looks as if she thought she was driving on a snow-covered road. The truck made it 150 yards onto the lake, but the ice was no match for the weight of the live truck. Sinking 4 to 5 feet to the bottom of the lake channel, the truck still sits there today.
Thankfully, everyone inside the vehicle escaped without injury.
In the TV news business, we are constantly required to cover weather events in which we tell viewers to stay inside or “don’t go out if you don’t have to.” Many years ago, my brand-new blazer was swallowed by the mighty Atlantic Ocean while covering a hurricane, so I realize how easily something like this can happen.
I won’t feed the argument of an insensitive and demanding desk, pushing a crew into dangerous situations. Everyone needs to take responsibility for covering the news well and covering the news safely. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the pressure of a looming deadline. We all need to be alert and we all have to be careful.
That being said, when do the “freeze frame” jokes start?