You see a lot of rants about how social media is destroying venerable old TV news and newspapers. But there's another force that's wrecking the old media way of doing things: crime. In San Francisco, there has been a rash of people stealing equipment from TV news reporters.
There have been several instances in the San Francisco Bay Area where thieves have grabbed cameras or computers from reporters on the scene. In one case, two men pulled guns on the reporter, and the reporter's security guard took some shots at the would-be thieves.
In the latest incident on Friday night, a KRON 4 reporter filming in the high crime Bayview district of San Francisco was set upon by two armed men demanding his computer and camera equipment. Jeff Bush immediately took cover, and the private security guard who had been assigned to accompany him fired on the men, injuring one of them who later turned up in hospital.
Police said that two 19-year-olds, Armani McFarland and John Woods, had been arrested on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy.
First of all, reporters now have security guards in their home cities? That's intense. And second, this is going to mean that community media is more important than ever. We may only get reports from high-crime neighborhoods from the people who live there, because mainstream reporters have been scared off. The future is looking more and more like Max Headroom every day.