Staff Editorial: We’re humans first

USI Shield Staff

Along with the rest of the world, The Shield was stunned by the shooting in Roanoke, Virginia, last week.

During a morning news segment, cameraman Adam Ward and reporter Alison Parker were shot and killed live on camera while interviewee Vicki Gardner was severely wounded.

By its very nature, this event is a tough one to cover because of the sudden, savage nature by which these murders occurred. While a viewer might expect a small chance of seeing something graphic during a live broadcast from a war zone, nobody expected to see such violence in a Virginia tourist town.

Two videos came out of this event: recordings of Ward’s perspective through his live broadcast, and a clip filmed by the shooter himself showing the moment in graphic detail.

As soon as the second video surfaced we in the newsroom began to see many websites and social media socialites sharing the videos with little to no context or warning.

Some websites, including actual news websites, uploaded the videos and set them to autoplay as soon as the page loaded.

Frankly, The Shield finds the actions of some people and even some news outlets to be inappropriate, if not outright unethical. In this digital world, news has to be delivered as soon as possible to keep hit counters ticking and get as many advertising dollars as possible. This is the nature of online revenue streams.

Respect and common decency should override one’s desire to have five more dollars in one’s quarterly advertising check from Google.