NBC buys exclusive footage of Wisconsin plane collision, takes heat for "checkbook journalism" [VIDEO]

WiscPlaneCrash.jpg
A helmet cam still of the planes as they collided.
Around 6 p.m. Saturday, two small planes containing 11 people -- nine skydivers and two pilots -- collided over Superior, Wisconsin, sending one of the planes spiraling 12,000 feet to the ground in fiery pieces.

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Miraculously, everyone involved survived with nothing more than minor injuries. And in an almost equally miraculous development given the smartphone age we live in, no video of the crash emerged until last night.

But on yesterday's 10 o'clock news, NBC ran exclusive footage of the scary wreck captured by helmet cams worn by some of the skydivers.

Here it is:

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Some media observers are criticizing NBC for paying the nine divers and two pilots involved more than $100,000 for the video. As the Washington Post reports, that style of "checkbook journalism" is considered unethical by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Then again, what difference does a little criticism make when you can pop a big rating, especially during a "sweeps" month?

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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10 comments
mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

No mention that the pilot who saved the day is from the metro. Your job is too easy to fail so much.

TweetsAreYours
TweetsAreYours

Sweeps month. Funny. I can't remember the last time I heard any talk about "sweeps." Antiquated notion that doesn't mean much in 2013. #TweetsAreYours

Jesse Dykhuis
Jesse Dykhuis

I hope they use the money to replace the plane. I jumped with them and they are fantastic! Hope they are up and jumping soon :-)

Jake Gerhardt
Jake Gerhardt

I thought this was just how things worked. I have something you want, how much is it worth to you?

Kathy Drews
Kathy Drews

There are some if us that don't want to see this. $100,000. wow.

Fredlock Dobbs
Fredlock Dobbs

almost sitting through their proprietary bloat ware and mandatory 30 second commercial for

James Hardwick
James Hardwick

Those 11 people very nearly lost their life. I think we can make a bit of an exception by letting them profit off that a tiny bit. Or you're right, they all could have died and then NBC probably could have gotten their hands on it for little or nothing. That's so much more ethical, right? Your biases and opinions are consistently getting in the way of your reporting.

TweetsAreYours
TweetsAreYours

@James Hardwick You read this blog for news "reporting?" Silly boy. #TweetsAreYours

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