Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


This is probably one of the most horrific news stories I have reported on HD Warrior and it has consequences for all of us working in television news. Many a time news editors send a crew to cover a live incident and inevitably its a crew of two or three if your lucky.

I have reported on this in the past but health and safety of news crews is at breaking point and this is a fine example of not enough people on the job due to limited budgets.

If Alison and Adam had one extra crew member overseeing their news broadcast this might have been a different outcome.

Norman Lamb live link

We all think we are safe when the camera appears and for the majority of broadcasts everything is fine. The problem is we have many different ways to send back live footage today which does not always rely on a sat truck being there. At least the sat truck gives you an extra person, someone to oversee the production.

Its all down to numbers…

1. Number of people allocated to a live shoot

2. The “cost” of having an extra person on the shoot

Television stations seriously need to re-think this VJ mentality where one person turns up to a shoot as well as the amount of crew deployed to a live shoot.

I have said this in the past and I will say it again we are now seriously understaffed in the broadcast industry especially in the news department…its all down to cost. We have shaved staff levels beyond the minimum safe level and I would like to see a minimum of three crew members at any live news event…”safety in numbers”.

I am asked at least once a month to film at a live event and I always factor in my son, Scott, who comes out of my budget, we work well together and as far as I am concerned brings a far higher level of security to the job.

The main thing to take out of this shocking news story is the sheer professionalism both Alison and Adam showed when approached by the gun man, they were so intent on their job they never saw him.

I would like to say how shocked and sad I was to hear this news and my heart goes out to Alison and Adams close family and friends.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

2 thoughts on “Shot doing their job !…A hard lesson for all of us in the broadcast industry

  1. we do , but not all the time. Still your proposal is valid and to seriously be considered. In fact today the NYPD did just that.

  2. Actually been reading that TV crews have been robbed of their TV cameras at gun point in bay area ( San Francisco ) more than once, the last being several crews reporting on the murder of a young woman by an illegal immigrant at a popular pier. I believe now if working in Oakland a security guard must be onsite but still doesn’t guarantee total safety. Thieves are realizing video equipment is expensive and only with 2 person crews relatively easy pickings. Last theft included a Tripod which one of the thieves had difficulty putting into the back of car.

    Just be aware of surroundings.

    In this particular case an EX coworker on tilt with a grudge took the lives of these 2 young professionals. Totally senseless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *