Saturday, 29 September 2012

Should Live TV really be live?

Should live TV news be live?

I was very interested (and saddened) to see the news article about a man in Arizona who committed suicide after a police chase.  Fox then accidentally showed the moment live on TV where the man shot himself in the head committing suicide.

It appears that normal safeguards in place to prevent this kind of footage failed due to human error.

This poses for me two very interesting questions.

  • The first being should live news be actually show live without any buffering?  

  • Secondly, if live police chases are going to be used by networks for both entertainment and to provide a short-term ratings spike should they be shown in their full entirety with no editing?  

I have not seen a live police chase on TV, the closest I came to it was the 24 hour footage of the man hunt of Derek Bird in 2010.  Watching a police chase as entertainment poses moral questions about if we should be watching it in the first place.

What do you think? Should live TV really be live?

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