Enough with K-9 Units!

It’s always strange to watch a tragedy unfold, and evaluate a news gathering team’s performance. “Attaboy” memos and “congratulations” in association with tragedy is one of the odd quirks that go along with being a newsy and may explain to some degree why people who work in the business are the way they are. K-9

The three main affiliates in Seattle did a great job covering the shootings. Stories like this one are tough to cover, and require a newsroom firing on all cylinders to do well… especially when the active part of it happens over a course of hours and in many locations. That makes it REALLY tough.

So ultimately, if there’s one thing we do well in Seattle, it’s TV. Everything else: producing planes on time, producing functional software, winning in sports, regional transportation planning, general governance… well… it is what it is.

It’s amazing though how certain things keep popping up no matter the year and no matter the location – they, like many other things, are universal to TV news reporting.

Any chance we could ever get away from calling dogs K-9 units? I know what the police call dogs, but do the rest of us have to? My K-9 unit is named Buddy, and he has no interest in hunting criminals. He does have one thing in common with the animals that do though – they are all “dogs.” If your argument is that K-9 units denote the man and the dog – well, then let’s go with “dog teams.”

And this: when you’re 28 years old and you tell us how you’ve never seen anything like this before – it’s only because you’ve never seen anything like this before. Seattle, for instance, has a long history of mass shootings and serial killings. So, while it may seem new to you – chances are – it’s not new at all and you’re not really helping your station sound like the home town authority with your amazement that something like this could happen right here in River City.

So great job to all – at least everybody had nice weather because believe it or not, that’s about the most important factor when determining whether chasing a breaking news story is a just hard work, or misery.

On a more serious note: thoughts and prayers to today’s victims. The tragedy happens, and then news coverage and commentary happens… if not reporting tragedy, or not commenting on its coverage would turn back the clock and bring the victims back – I’m sure nobody would hesitate.