When San Diego Bree Steffen used a suitcase as a prop in a live shot, she got fellow San Diego reporter Gene Kang so mad he called the move “unnecessary and tasteless” on Facebook.
Steffen, a reporter for ABC affiliate KGTV, used a suitcase as a prop in a live shot about a guy who murdered a co-worker then stuffed her body into a suitcase.
“I can’t believe that a reporter at a different station actually used a suitcase as a prop and stuffed their hand into it on live TV,” KFMB reporter Gene Kang wrote on Facebook, “I won’t say which station or reporter but that’s absolutely unnecessary and tasteless.”
“In my opinion, this is not a story for ‘show and tell’ reporting,” Reel Media Group‘s Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel told TVSpy. “There is a time and a place for that. In this case, I can see where Bree might have come from BUT that doesn’t mean that she or her bosses should have let her execute the live shot in that way. Did she get approval? Or did she just go for it.”
“I can’t imagine how traumatic this is for family and friends of the victim,” wrote Kang, who reports for the local CBS affiliate. “Why make it worse? Not only is that bad TV… it lacks any sensitivity to her surviving family. It lacks any shred of compassion. It’s heartbreaking. I’m disgusted. That’s why people don’t watch the news. If I was watching that channel, I’d turn it off. Please let me NEVER be that way.”
“Kang makes solid points but I think he crossed the line – calling her out, especially as a reporter in the same market,” said Tsoflias-Siegel. “The local news scene is small – you see each other on stories all the time. Why embarrass a colleague? What is the point? He’s entitled to feel the way he feels and I’m sure other reporters share the sentiment – but don’t publicize it.”
“People who knew the victim learned of the ‘suitcase prop’ and started venting to me, even though I work at a different station,” Kang told TVSpy. “I dealt with the aftermath.”
“My social media post was an opportunity to encourage other journalists to be please be more sensitive when covering violent crimes,” he said.
TVSpy also asked Steffen about the story. We’ll update when we hear back.