THV Insider: Deciding what video is appropriate to air

    6:49 PM, Jul 23, 2010   |    comments
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    • Cortez Waller

    First to Conway, where surveillance video caught a murder on tape.

    21-year-old Cortez Waller got into a heated argument with 32-year-old Chris Childress in front of the Conway Police Department.

    Police say the video actually shows Waller shooting and killing Childress.

    But we didn't show you that part of the tape. We only aired the moments leading up to the killings and the moments after, when Waller walked right inside and turned himself in.

    It is part of our policy not to show killings on our newscasts. But we did show the argument and the aftermath to illustrate how the story unfolded.

    Next, to a story that began in Little Rock, took police across the Arkansas River, and ended with a suspected bank robber dead.

    Police say 54-year-old Robert Ballard robbed the U.S. Bank in Little Rock just before 1 p.m. Tuesday.

    Later, police say they spotted Ballard's vehicle east-bound on I-630. They tried to stop him, but he kept going, eventually speeding through parts of North Little Rock, back across the Main Street Bridge toward Little Rock.

    That's when authorities say the chase ended when Ballard hopped out of his S-10 Chevy pick-up and jumped off the bridge.

    Our cameras were rolling when rescuers pulled him from the water and began CPR.

    The video was extremely graphic, as first responders worked to save him.

    Ballard later died, and we decided not to show images of EMTs at work.

    Our policy is: we don't show bodies on our newscasts. At the time, we weren't sure if Ballard was dead or alive.

    But we also have a policy that we don't show graphic images unless there is an extremely compelling reason to do so. Even then, we will offer a warning first.

    Again, our goal is also to bring transparency to what we do, letting you in on how we cover the news.

    Email us at thvinsider@todaysthv.com, and we'll respond to your questions, comments, complaints and compliments in our THV Insider segment at 6:30 p.m.


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