Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Not a creature was stirring

I had an easy shift on Monday night. Not a lot of action and adventure in videotaping Christmas lights for our weather segment.

It's all part of the job and I left the station with the attitude that even the worst day in news beats the best day in a cubicle.

It wasn't until I was almost done and I looked around at the neighborhood that it hit me. Here I am standing in the middle of the street at night with nobody around. I don't know if I'm standing in a "safe" neighborhood. I have this very expensive video camera and I'm carrying a few items that might be worth more than a Playstation or a six-pack of beer. I've covered homicides where people have been killed for those items or less.

I was feeling very isolated.

I guess I depend on my experience to know when I should feel "safe". Things happen all the time and I've said before that world has never been "safe". We live our lives and take calculated risks in order to get anything done. I'm sure most people understand that a big part of the equation when calculating risk is measuring what would be an acceptable loss.

When it comes to putting myself in harms way, I'll leave it to the people who save and protect lives. I'm going to keep my eyes open and hope when I am in a dangerous situation, I at least have some warning.

I'd never live it down if something happened to me and I didn't get the shot.

Everybody beSafe this holiday season.


Dan O'Donnell said...

Found your blog from a link on

I was married to a tv news camera operator in LA (KABC). She covered the 1992 LA Summer Games, aka the Rodney King riots. She called me from the combat zone and I tried to tell her that being in that space/attitude with that expensive gear was like being a magnet for bad guys. She never understood what I meant. She can be like that though.

I never understand why so many journalists - and it seems especially tv news crews with tens of thousands of dollars worth of gear - seem to think they're exempt from predation.

Great punchline though, and I guess that explains it. "Get the shot."

Best of luck to you.

beFrank said...

Dano - Thanks for stopping by. I think we do what we do out of habit. We push the boundaries and when nothing bad happens we move the line that marks "too far" and then begin to operate very casually in dangerous territory. All because nothing bad has happened so far. The stations are taking a close look at how they operate now and we have a lot more control in the field to say when it feels unsafe. Risk is part of the job, but I also believe risk is a part of life.

Feel free to stop by anytime. We're open 24 hours a day.