After tragedy in VA, 'we can't let our guard down' - WNEM TV 5

After tragedy in VA, 'we can't let our guard down'

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A shooting on Aug. 26 left newsrooms across the country shaken.

"They're at a feel-good story, and their lives are snuffed out," said Al Blinke, general manager at WNEM.

It's an unthinkable tragedy.

During a morning live shot, Roanoke, Virginia-based reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were shot to death by disgruntled former co-worker Vester Flanagan.

"I can't figure out any connection with those people, who are among them, the kindest, nicest people who work here," said Jeff Marks, WDBJ general manager.

The shocking turn of events hits close to home.

Blinke is the general manager at TV5. He said the incident has the station thinking about safety and security even more so than usual.

"It just makes us be more aware that we can't let down our guard," Blinke said.

What happened in Virginia can also have an impact on the people who work in this business every day, the reporters and photographers doing those live shots.

Licensed therapist Dr. Thomas Haller said it's important for those who feel impacted by this tragedy to express it.

"It's important that you talk to somebody about that. You talk about it, write about it, share it, you can do it as a team, do that as visually, some one on one with a therapist or trusted friend," Haller said.

For Blinke, it's a tragedy that we can all learn from to make sure it never happens again.

"It just teaches me that we need to teach our people to be better of the surroundings we're in. Because anytime, anywhere, something can happen," Blinke said.

WNEM is making some new changes to its security in response to the events in Virginia.

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