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Alison Parker and Adam Ward had the most seemingly simple and stress-free of assignments: a live interview with a local Chamber of Commerce representative. No crowds, no police, just a conversation about growing the local economy, with a pretty sunrise in the background.
I've worked in newsrooms where Kevlar vests were available—ready to be handed out to reporters and photographers who might be headed into dangerous assignments. But this? Who could have expected this assignment would leave the two journalists shot dead and their interviewee hospitalized, all at the hands of a former colleague?
Over the past 20 years that I worked as a local TV reporter—most notably in the years after 9/11—the lobbies of television stations have become hardened with secure doors, bulletproof glass at reception and complicated procedures for building access.
The fear, of course, was that a television station broadcasting live could become an attractive target for a...