Apr 1, 2013, 12:05 PM EDT
Deciding how to handle a traumatic event on live television is one of the most difficult and sensitive decisions in all of broadcast production. There is no handbook on how to handle the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event on live television.
On Sunday, CBS did a masterful job navigating the through the aftermath of Kevin Ware’s horrific leg injury during the first half of the Midwest regional final between No. 1-seed Louisville and No. 2-seed Duke. It takes a tremendous amount of poise and judgment to handle a delicate situation like this, and ultimately, the network did the right thing.
Seth Davis touches on it in the video above, but a few things need to be reemphasized.
The network did show two immediate replays of the injury, but only for the sake of getting a grasp of what actually happened. The injury took place towards the end of a play, and occurred in the upper-third portion of the screen. Once the production crew realized the severity of the injury, no further replays were used. The production crew probably had better angles on the injury, but choosing to refrain from using them was the correct move. It is up to the production crew to serve as a filter for the public, and they properly filtered out as much as possible without jeopardizing their journalistic integrity. With the advancements in internet technology, those interested in viewing the injury are able to do so on the internet, where it is up to the user to decide whether or not they want to view the video.
The networks’ decision to stay with the action in lieu of cutting to a commercial break was also the right thing to do. While the event was traumatic and graphic in nature, CBS maintained journalistic integrity by remaining on camera while allowing the aftermath to unfold. CBS is a broadcast news company, and they stayed with the game in order for the event to play out. Clark Kellogg and Jim Nantz showed great poise and respect during the broadcast, and allowed the visuals to tell the story.
The reactions of the Louisville and Duke players is what made the immediate aftermath seem so raw, so uncut. We’ve seen horrific injuries before, but never have the reactions of the players and opponents been so real, so uncontrollable. Several Louisville players began vomiting on the bench. The faces of Chane Behanen and Russ Smith were covered in tears. The image of Rick Pitino wiping the tears off his face trying to regain composure before entering the huddle is one of the most raw and real images we have seen all season.
What took place on Sunday is one of the most gruesome and traumatic sports injuries we’ve seen in a long time. The network allowed the events to take place without compromising the integrity of the players or the game, yet controlled the image as to not disturb the viewing audience.
You can contact Troy Machir on Twitter @TroyMachir
Mar 9, 2014, 9:40 AM EDT
GAME OF THE DAY: No. 22 Michigan State vs. Ohio State, 4:30 p.m. (CBS) The Spartans were the top-ranked team in the nation for several weeks earlier this season. Michigan State is now toward the bottom of the top-25 with a rivalry game against Ohio State rounding out its regular season on Sunday. Can Sparty…
Mar 9, 2014, 3:10 AM EDT
No. 4 Duke and No. 10 San Diego State picked up big home wins, and Eastern Kentucky became the second team into the NCAA tournament field on a busy Saturday.
Mar 9, 2014, 12:56 AM EDT
New Mexico led by 16 with 12:05 remaining. And then their inability to adjust to San Diego State’s 1-3-1 zone cost them the Mountain West title.
Mar 9, 2014, 12:50 AM EDT
No. 10 San Diego State overcomes a 16-point second half deficit as they knock off No. 21 New Mexico and bring home a Mountain West title. But should that change how we view the Aztecs?
Mar 9, 2014, 12:09 AM EDT
North Carolina shot nearly 60%, but getting whipped on the boards cost them dearly at Cameron.
Mar 8, 2014, 11:56 PM EDT
Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood both went off for No. 4 Duke as the Blue Devils smacked around North Carolina. Does that mean we can call them a Final Four team again?
Mar 8, 2014, 11:16 PM EDT
Get caught up on all of Saturday’s bubble action
Mar 8, 2014, 9:38 PM EDT
Creighton’s senior forward scored his 3,000th career point on Saturday night. Only seven other players have reached that total.
Mar 8, 2014, 9:24 PM EDT
Get to know the second entry into the 2014 NCAA Tournament field, the Eastern Kentucky Colonels.
Mar 8, 2014, 7:49 PM EDT
No. 3 Arizona hasn’t been the best perimeter shooting team, but they’ve been able to make up for that on most days. That wasn’t the case against Oregon, and the struggles of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Gabe York didn’t help either.
Mar 8, 2014, 7:09 PM EDT
Texas A&M celebrated Senior Day on Saturday and it included honoring former high school signee Tobi Oyedeji, who was tragically killed in a car accident in 2010 and never played for the school.
Mar 8, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT
Oregon wins its seventh straight, and the Ducks likely punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament with the win over No. 3 Arizona.
Mar 8, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT
No. 19 UConn has struggled to crack 70 points during a recent six-game stretch and it could lead to an early exit for the Huskies in the postseason.
Mar 8, 2014, 6:01 PM EDT
The top seed in next week’s American Athletic Conference was determined by an old school method Saturday afternoon.
Mar 8, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT
The Shockers are now one step closer to entering Selection Sunday undefeated.
Mar 8, 2014, 5:06 PM EDT
As Louisville sophomore forward Montrezl Harrell puts up huge numbers against great competition in the last few weeks are the Cardinals a threat to make a run at back-to-back national titles?
Mar 8, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT
No. 16 Iowa State comes from 16 points back to beat Marcus Smart and Oklahoma State, but even with the loss, the Cowboys looked even more dangerous. Read why.
Mar 8, 2014, 3:34 PM EDT
No. 8 Kansas fell on the road to West Virginia on Saturday, but the Jayhawks will take the loss knowing that the superstar version of Andrew Wiggins might have finally come to life.
Mar 8, 2014, 3:21 PM EDT
Just how concerned should we be by Kentucky’s struggles over the last two weeks?
Mar 8, 2014, 2:53 PM EDT
Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart has developed a reputation for flopping this season. Don’t, for a second, think that opposing student sections haven’t noticed.
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