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Thread: Amish Media Circus...

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    Default Amish Media Circus...

    This is from my friend who is a (award winning) videographer for a local TV station...

    Thought y'all would enjoy.


    I was in Lancaster again, for the madness... covering the Amish funeral processions. That is all we could actually tape of them, from one spot, as they passed by... which is fine by me. Here are some of the pics I took in my "down time".







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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    I suppose it's news, but I could do with a little less of it.
    Good shooting,
    English Bob

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    Wow really sad. My family is from that area and I just wish people would leave the Amish alone.

    PS - Prairie, I'm not directing my comments at you... just at the disgustingness of the American Media. Thank you for sharing.
    Lara P
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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    As if the tragedy of loosing a whole generation of girls wasn't enough.
    (From what I hear chances are very slim any will survive.)
    This was horrible. And now their lives are being over ran with the media circus.

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    Hi guys, I have a somewhat different perspective on the 'media circus'.

    Yet another schoolhouse shooting has wreaked havoc upon innocent young people and their families, my heart goes out to those victims and their families and the community at large - but for those of us who work on this side of the fence, our jobs are to be the eyes and ears of the public at large.
    People in communities far away from Georgetown, Pa are able to share in that community's grief and reconstruction because us media folks are on the scene to record, report, and interpret.

    Yep. It's an emotional and nerve-wracking job - and in my career I've been called slime, and other things, by bystanders, victims, and police because we live in a society that has a free press, and that's the job we do. To limit that for any reason, I think, is the first step down the slippery slope of censorship.

    Just my 2 cents.
    William Clarke
    Editor/Photographer
    Springdale, NL
    presspics(at)gmail.com

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    I admit that amount of media is over the top and intrusive but I am with Bill on this. If the media did not report on this then we would have to rely on government for info!

    But early this summer, just before school got out for summer I was driving with my wife and 3.5 year old daughter and we came across an accident sceen.

    There was a child, about 7 years old rollup under the back end of an SUV. IT was a very sad, harsh site and my daughter still ask me if the little boy was ok.

    I had my gear and I was going to take the shot but in the end I did not. I am a wedding photographer not a reporter and it was a really tough shot to take.

    My wife and I watched the local news for 3 days, morning, afternoong and night and the story of this poor little boy never made it to the news. We don't know if he is alive or dead.

    If I had of taken the shot and got some general info from a witness his story would have been told and someone could have learned something from the accident.

    Get off the cell phone, watch for kids around school zones, slow down etc. I believe this was an accident due to the child running into traffic because of the road construction and the child did not realize that lane was now open.

    If I am ever in that situation again, I will take the shot and make sure the story is told. Someone will pay attention and learn something.

    My 2 Cents.

    Kelly

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    Here is a blog he just published:

    Ok, so I know a few people at WGAL. Some, I just talk with when I see them in the field... these people, I like.

    So, if for whatever reason... if these people read this, don't be offended.

    HOWEVER...

    3 hours into the coverage of the Amish shooting, I wanted to vommit. It only took about 2.5 hours for them to create a little black and white montage, with "sensitive music", to intro and outro with... titled AMISH SCHOOL SHOOTING.

    Now, if it was me, I would pick crosshairs... and say, TARGET: AMISH COUNTRY, but hey... that's just me...

    At one point.... they had 4, FOUR reporters doing the same live shot. As if it was a turntable... and every 5 minutes... a new reporter would get spun into place... re-hashing the same info... sometimes, they would appear, 2 at a time... and they even interviewed the same woman, who lives out there... TWICE.... did someone forget that she was just interviewed like, 20 minutes earlier.

    Now... I know they have the resources and they want to get out there, but even a news junkie like myself... wanted to vommit after a few hours of this nonsense...

    THERE WAS NO NEW INFO!!! Stop beating the story into the ground... stop having reporters speculate on loose facts.... "The killer was 32, 20 years of revenge, so that means that maybe something happened to him with young girls at age 12"... yes, I am paraphrasing that.... but it's essentially some of the crap that came across the air.

    It was gratuitous... it was disgusting... and informative turned into exploitation just to show off their resources.... Good for you Channel 8, you have 4382488249 more reporters than everyone else.

    Now, because of them... the ABC station will try to match their number, as if this is some sort of ridiculous news coverage telethon....

    I haven't even mentioned the ridiculous storm of NATIONAL media, Philly, Baltimore... and even your mom, I think, is live in the field. I think Aljazeera has some crews there.....

    After all is said and done... I'm sure we will be able to blame this all on myspace...

    I can't wait til I get to join the circus at 3am...

    WOO HOO!

    Why do people hate the media...

    IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII dunno.

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    Quote Originally Posted by presspics View Post
    Hi guys, I have a somewhat different perspective on the 'media circus'.

    Yet another schoolhouse shooting has wreaked havoc upon innocent young people and their families, my heart goes out to those victims and their families and the community at large - but for those of us who work on this side of the fence, our jobs are to be the eyes and ears of the public at large.
    People in communities far away from Georgetown, Pa are able to share in that community's grief and reconstruction because us media folks are on the scene to record, report, and interpret.

    Yep. It's an emotional and nerve-wracking job - and in my career I've been called slime, and other things, by bystanders, victims, and police because we live in a society that has a free press, and that's the job we do. To limit that for any reason, I think, is the first step down the slippery slope of censorship.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Come on you don't expect me to believe the media circus is part of a compassionate reporting community operating a free press, you like us in the UK haven't got one. I would guess everyone of those crews are there because they have been told to go there and that is what they are paid to do. Lets go back there in a week or so and see who is still around.
    There are a few photojournalists, mostly freelance who try to inform, John Pilger on this side of the pond is an example but is work is only occasionally put out on the more obscure channels. These people are generally hounded by the powers that be and find it hard to get their voices heard.
    I believe the Amish have a strength and philosophy that will deal with this event in a true Christian way. Their view that "It is Gods will" is in my opinion correct, although I follow a different philosophy, and is so enlightening in this day and age. The good that could come out of this is that the world, including many so called christian leaders, may see something in the dignity of a people who live at one with the environment and forgive those that tresspass against them.
    David

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidL View Post
    Come on you don't expect me to believe the media circus is part of a compassionate reporting community operating a free press, you like us in the UK haven't got one. I would guess everyone of those crews are there because they have been told to go there and that is what they are paid to do. Lets go back there in a week or so and see who is still around.
    There are a few photojournalists, mostly freelance who try to inform, John Pilger on this side of the pond is an example but is work is only occasionally put out on the more obscure channels. These people are generally hounded by the powers that be and find it hard to get their voices heard.
    I believe the Amish have a strength and philosophy that will deal with this event in a true Christian way. Their view that "It is Gods will" is in my opinion correct, although I follow a different philosophy, and is so enlightening in this day and age. The good that could come out of this is that the world, including many so called christian leaders, may see something in the dignity of a people who live at one with the environment and forgive those that tresspass against them.
    David
    If not me, who? If not now, when?

    I don't remember who said those words but, gee, DavidL, you're right! They are people out doing their jobs!! Maybe I should have said, "Free from imprisonment, torture, death Press"? There are places in the world where that type of circus would be a state-sanctioned execution and the "journalists" can't practice journalism.

    But like I said, it was my two cents and I just happen to be one of those people who does do the work, I win some battles and I lose some battles (to get stories printed) and just find it difficult that all of us who work in the media can be painted by the same brush.
    I think that's why I always advise those starting out to not get married to the story, don't get married to the picture, and grow a thick skin.


    B
    William Clarke
    Editor/Photographer
    Springdale, NL
    presspics(at)gmail.com

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    I'm sorry guys but there is a world of difference between THIS circus and a journalist trying to make a difference and the world a better place.

    Besides dragging this poor community through the mud and displaying their private life for all to gawk at (cause come on you know what's why people are watching)... what else could be the cause?

    It's a funeral for crying out loud... not a military coup. I fail to understand the common decency of the majority of reporters. Have some respect.
    Lara P
    A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed. - Ansel Adams
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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    There was a day I ducked out of the office early and on the way home I happened across a traffic jam. At the top of the jam I could see a body on the road.
    No police. No EMS.
    The first thing I do (camera rides within hand range) is grab the camera and run up the road. My lens hood had the newspaper's name on it so I was easily identifiable as a member of the media. I call the office on the way and the editor says, "get pics, get the story."
    (Nope. I didn't call 911 'cos I could hear the sirens getting closer)
    I get to the person on the ground, a military fellow is already rendering first aid so there's nothing for me to do but my job.
    I start making pics.
    A woman walks over and says, "have some respect for the family. Don't take pictures."
    As I was trained to do, I don't respond. She walks over to the cop who has just arrived, points to me, and I know what she's saying, but the cop sees the newspaper label and shakes his head at her.
    I got *great* newspaper shots of the victim, on the ground, with the never-identified military guy holding his head and talking to him. When the victim's mother arrived on the scene, I photographed her as well, looking straight into the camera.
    The mob of looky-loos that has gathered is now beginning to focus on me (I'm the only media person there) and a few people make their remarks - but they're the ones who are out 'sightseeing' and will buy the paper the next day to see if pics are there!!
    Anyway, I continued to do my job, and then pulled out the tape recorder to get witness statements as the ambulance left the scene.

    Pretty hardore, right? Pretty calloused, right?

    But here's the story; There were actually two victims on the ground - both schoolchildren.
    They had been struck by a driver speeding through a crosswalk at a school intersection and both kids were flung a good 25 meters down the road as a result of the impact. One witness said, "I saw bodies flying head over heels through the air." Another witness said drivers constantly sped through that crosswalk and she had seen kids jump back to avoid being struck. Yep. I photographed the car driver as well, sitting on the side of the road on his cell phone!!?? Maybe talking to his lawyer?
    And as I was finishing up, a cop was on the other side of the crosswalk as I began to cross. A van speeding down the road and traffic approaching up the road left me in that no-man's-land between the sidewalk. I looked at the cop and raised my arms in the air to say, "what are you gonna do about this?" The van driver slammed on his brakes, but only because he saw the cop standing on the corner - he had every intention of going right through.

    In any event, the story and pics ran on page three the following day - including an anecdote about the van driver. That crosswalk now has an elevated, lighted sign, and a button to trigger the flashing lights to warn drivers there's someone crossing. Both kids were fine, not even broken bones, but I wonder to this day if my being on the scene, making the pics and writing the story, had anything to do with the new safety features?

    In any event, as I said previously, this business is not for people who can't separate their emotions from working the lens - and that story would NEVER have been told had I not been there to record it.

    Media circus? Maybe. But how many of you can honestly say you change the channels, or bypass the pics, or don't read the stories?
    William Clarke
    Editor/Photographer
    Springdale, NL
    presspics(at)gmail.com

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    Sorry presspics, I can't really see how your story relates to the "Amish media circus" documented in the OP. Your work as a press photographer is OK in my oppinion.

    However, there have been several school shootings in the US lately but only this one gets this out of proportion coverage. IMO, the reason can only be that the media want to profit from the fact that it happened in a group of people that are different from the society at large. Media can easily catch (or should I say create?) an interest of the public and spend endless hours pseudo-analyzing a 'situation' that isn't different from other similar situations with the sole intention to earn more money.

    It disgusts me every time it happens that human beings are over exploited in that way by the media.

    Cheers, Jens.
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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    Greetings,

    This discussion got me thinking. What if our national news coverage worked like the Whitehouse Press Corp? They don't all go with the President. Rather, they rotate who gets to accompany him to cover a story and their press feed is shared by all. Could something like this be instituted for all the "big" national/international stories.

    Local news outlets would still be granted access but out-of-town news agencies would share a common press feed for photos, video, audio, interviews, etc. One of the independent international press agencies could be tapped to oversee the rotations.

    The idea is to reduce the size of the press' "footprint" without reducing the coverage.
    Best regards, FL

    Pursuing excellence...

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    I just have two words that really go together.

    Sponsors and sensationalism.

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    Hi Jens!! Long time no hear. No, my story actually jumps backwards a bit to a side-conversation with David L.
    But we go where we're assigned to go or we get replaced - and in the end it comes down to the individual to decide if they want to keep their job when assigned to cover something against the grain.

    But (My, don't I say 'but' a lot!!) FirstLight makes a pretty reasonable point. As we see with many, many, many 'events' there are pool feeds made available to media outlets. In cases like this that would have been wise for Georgetown officials to still welcome the world's interest - but would have eliminated the circus atmosphere.

    Cheers!
    William Clarke
    Editor/Photographer
    Springdale, NL
    presspics(at)gmail.com

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    I am not trying to pick a fight here with you or anyone else presspics. I really appreciate the average news story. I am a news junky. However, on this occasion I think that it was way over the top. The Almish community, is not part of our world. They only seek to be left alone. They are not part of this at all. They seek to hide away, and morn. Their lost proportionately was much greater than any other school shooting, to this date.
    I think that we stepped over a line here, and it was wrong.
    I choose not to watch.

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    Sorry for the tone of the following response, Press Pics, but you just proved my point when you used the word victim.

    If my dead child was displayed for all to see, you would sure believe that your newspaper would be hearing from my lawyer.

    I'm sure we will agree to disagree but the media's complete lack of tack and common sense when it comes to any type of discretion and respect is what makes my stomach turn. I've said enough so I'm not going to comment any more on this thread. I only have one word left to add... DISGUSTING.
    Lara P
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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    Somehow, the thought of the quiet, simple Amish community being overrun with modern media frenzy just seems wrong. It was bad enough that a sexual predator had to invade their beautiful world and commit atrocious crimes against innocent children.

    Now, here comes the rest of society - loud, disrespectful, undisciplined, and portraying them as some sort of freak show. I understand better why they live the way they do. To avoid the worst parts of modern society. Trouble is, it came looking for them - twice.

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    The shooting was news.
    The funeral wasn't.

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    No offense taken.
    We have many differing opinions.

    Cheers!
    William Clarke
    Editor/Photographer
    Springdale, NL
    presspics(at)gmail.com

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    I also think the news has gotten too graphic. I no longer read the news, just glance at the newspaper, and never watch any news on TV. I get my news online or from my smart watch. Mostly I'm reading headlines and if I want to read the story I click on it.

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    I get ALL my news from the Internet, mostly MSNBC.com, but yesterday, I "HAD" to watch the local news not once, not twice, but THREE times in one day!!! I had to do this because our local news is on at 5, 6, and 10 p.m. and I was going to be on it. well, wouldn't you know it, I wasn't on till 10!! (I was interviewed on the street about the North Korea nuclear bomb test.)
    JULIO

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    Default Re: Amish Media Circus...

    OT, but this is interesting. my old C band satellite receiver blew out in May... of 1998. Never bothered to get it fixed, and don't miss it. Got a huge collection of classic films on dvd that keep me satisfied.

    The news is where I noticed the greatest difference, as my news now comes from online sources. Broadcast news has become atrocious - it's the panic of the moment. There's bias, but it's commercial bias - slant the news to get the greatest number of viewers. That's scarier than any political bias, because you don't know where that will lead you.

    I like internet news - I become my own editor. Read what I find interesting, and if I want more detail or an alternate view, it's just a click or a search away. And I'm not having the same stories blared at me, time and time again, from an editor whose main concern is a revenue stream.

    It is most interesting to see how many other people have reached the same conclusion, and for the same basic reasons.

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