Morning Update: Virginia news crew shooting: reporters left exposed; the perils of auto-play

Alison Parker Scott WardAdweek: Virginia news crew on-air murders: Studios are safer than ever, while reporters are left out in the open

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?

DigiDay: News crew shooting shows perils of auto-play videos on Twitter, Facebook

Facebook and Twitter are facing a backlash to their video autoplay feature after users were shown a horrifying video of two journalists being shot and killed this morning in Virginia during a live broadcast on WDBJ-TV, the CBS affiliate in Roanoke.

The graphic video showed the gunman walk up to reporter Alison Parker, 24, then began firing shots at her and her cameraman, Adam Ward, 27, before the stand-up abruptly ended, much to the shock of the anchor in the studio.

Screams from the reporter and bullets being fired could be heard in the video clip before the camera fell to the ground. In what is the most harrowing moment, the camera briefly recorded the suspect holding his gun — point-blank — at the two before ending. Virginia State Police said the suspect might be a “disgruntled employee” of WDBJ and the motive has not been identified.

Variety: Hulu Pacts with Facebook’s LiveRail to sell ads based on user data

Hulu’s ads are going “programmatic”: The Internet TV site is launching an invitation-only ad-buying marketplace powered by Facebook’s LiveRail, to let marketers target ads using data about who’s watching the video.

According to Hulu, the new programmatic system will result in more relevant ads — ideally, boosting the effectiveness of the spots. The capability will be available for Hulu’s inventory across desktop, mobile and connected-TV devices.

Ad Week: Disney marshals is own empire to hype new ‘Star Wars’ toys

For “Star Wars” fans, Christmas is coming early this year: on Sept. 4, when the toys tied to Walt Disney Co.‘s first film in the space-adventure series go on sale.

Three months before “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens in theaters, the company is staking its claim on gift lists, with everything from Captain Phasma action figures to Nerf crossbows and blasters. Disney on Wednesday described plans for events leading up to next week’s “Force Friday.” They include a global unwrapping of “Star Wars” merchandise on YouTube by Disney’s web video unit Maker Studios, and coverage on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” ABC is also part of Walt Disney Co.

Guardian: Big Brother and the great TV exec extravaganza

If only all episodes of Big Brother were as good as Edinburgh Does Big Brother. Eight “attention-seeking” TV executives, including Roughcut managing director Ash Atalla, original Big Brother executive Ruth Wrigley, Curve Media CEO Camilla Lewis and Hungry Bear founder Dan Baldwin, were locked into the BB house for 24 hours earlier this year to see how they would survive and how much they would gossip about rival television commissioners.

Screened on stage and presented by regular BB host Emma Willis, the winner was Baldwin, who won over his housemates and the audience with his dancing and hilarious Donald Duck impression, which he goaded Atalla was “better than Trollied”.


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