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
Oct 21, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
Stanford’s back court depth took a hit this week.
Oct 21, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT
Suspensions have been handed down for two James Madison players involved in a fall altercation.
Oct 21, 2014, 8:38 PM EDT
Nebraska has been recruiting the state of Illinois very hard and it paid off with a 2016 commitment.
Oct 21, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT
Kansas State has taken a hit to its front court depth this week.
Oct 21, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT
Florida’s backcourt depth received a big boost this week.
Oct 21, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT
Georgia State loses Kevin Ware with a high ankle sprain.
Oct 21, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT
American went from ninth in the Patriot League preseason polls to a No. 15 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Safe to say, the Eagles will be viewed much differently this time around with four returning starters.
Oct 21, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
Wyoming becomes a contender in the Mountain West Conference with the return of senior forward Larry Nance Jr.
Oct 21, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT
Clemson added a junior college post that could come in and make an immediate impact.
Oct 21, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT
The Aggies now have one of the best recruiting classes in the country.
Oct 21, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
American was the surprise team in the Patriot League a season ago. Can they repeat as league champs?
Oct 21, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT
No surprise that Murray State and Belmont are expected to be at the top of the league.
Oct 21, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
L.J. Rose is expected to return around Christmas.
Oct 21, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
The Gators are good enough to win the SEC. They have enough question marks to finish outside the top 25 as well.
Oct 21, 2014, 10:08 AM EDT
That fan looks like he’s enjoying things.
Oct 21, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
These are the players to keep an eye on if you like seeing aerial acrobatics.
Oct 20, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
Kansas State is losing a redshirt freshman to transfer.
Oct 20, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
Virginia got a very skilled guard in the 2016 class.
Oct 20, 2014, 9:15 PM EDT
Florida landed an in-state Class of 2015 wing to make it a four-man class.
Oct 20, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT
Memphis found a 2016 guard to join center Nick Marshall in the recruiting class.
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