For Television newsrooms across the nation the daily objective is to get as much of a competitive advantage over the competition as possible.
In it's most basic form that equates to outthinking our fellow news crew and getting elements to the story that are different and valuable to the viewers.
But in certain situations the competition is thrown out the window, well, sort of.
Today was the funeral of the US Customs and Immigrations Special Agent David Wilhelm who was killed at his house this past weekend by the man who had escaped from the Courthouse in Atlanta by killing a baliff, a judge and a court reporter.
At the Funeral, competing news stations have to work together to get the story, making the most of a potentially difficult situation while being as respectful.
The coverage inside of the chapel and at the graveside could only be videotaped by one camera...the POOL camera. That camera has to share all of the footage with all of the other TV crews that are at the event.
The pool camera makes the coverage by the media a lot less intrusive and allows everyone the same advantages and disadvantages. It relaxes the stress of competing to get a better angle.
Todays coverage of the Wilheim Funeral was a great success. Not only for the media, but for the family of the fallen officer, the law enforcement officials who attended the funeral and all of the viewers of all of the stations that broadcast the event.
Don't get me wrong there is still an element of competion involved in the process. There were probably 9 TV stations represented at the Funeral and everyone had the same footage to use with the exception of distant shots of the procession, friends and family arriving and leaving the chapel and interviews with those people IF they crossed to our side of the street. But there were definatley 9 different presentations of the event. Each crew using the unique elements and experience to make their story the best.
It was mine.
Seriously, Kudos to everyone at the funeral today...
WBTV for running the pool camera and facilitating the dubbing process...
WAGA for the Satelite air time for the Noon Live shot...
WAGA for providing transportation to lunch while our Livetrucks were gridlocked...
WSB for showing us their cool ass Sprinter Sat/Live Truck...
The PR lady at Catawba College for getting us parked and bringing us coffee and Homeland Security for letting us be at the event and providing us a bit of file footage of Agent Wilhelm.
Good Job Everyone. I think David Wilhelm would be proud.