Local TV news stations are apt to air live car chases — especially in California or Florida, where sprawling highway infrastructure makes for long and thrilling pursuits.
For viewers, the possibility of seeing a dramatic ending live on screen is a huge draw — entire offices can come to a standstill when a big chase is on.
But newsrooms have to consider the high stakes of showing a potentially dangerous, or deadly, situation play out in real time. Just last month, for instance, a man involved in a car chase was shot by police on live TV in Texas.
“Once you’ve decided to go there, it seems to me you have to ask a series of questions of yourself,” he says. “Is this so important that you’re willing to air the worst possible outcome?”
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