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In this June 17, 1994 file photo, a white Ford Bronco, driven by Al Cowlings carrying O.J. Simpson, is trailed by Los Angeles police cars as it travels on a Southern California freeway in Los Angeles. Cowlings and Simpson led authorities on a chase afterSimpson was charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. (AP Photo/Joseph Villarin, File)

How the OJ Chase Changed Media Coverage



SEE ALSO:  Bronco Chase Video | Local Photog Remembers | Photos | That Day- From The Archives   | The Crime Scene

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) 20 years ago tonight, Western New York and the world was riveted by the slow-speed pursuit of OJ Simpson. As we look back, a former TV news director talks about how it changed media coverage of live events.

"When the OJ chase came along, it gave viewers the ability to see it unravel live," says Tim Clark of the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission and former Channel 7 news director. "It really defined what news operations can do now and it kept viewers riveted to the sets."

Clark says live news coverage benefits the news consumer who prefers information as it happens, but there is a checks and balances needed. "Controversy surrounding some of the live events, first of all,  and there has to be a gatekeeper who can basically decide analyze and determine this is worth breaking into programming to show you," says Clark.

Clark says there's an inherent risk in live coverage. "If something had gone wrong in the OJ chase where he had an accident or did something to himself, that's the risk because you don't want to show that kind of graphic reality to the people at home," notes Clark.


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