Newsrooms scramble as Rafferty verdict comes in late in day

 As news was breaking Friday night that the jury had reached a verdict in the Michael Rafferty trial, newsroom across the province went into panic mode.

The late evening newscasts were getting set to air. Newspapers were also preparing for the looming deadline of their largest papers of the week – Saturday.

There wasn’t a lot of time to prepare a comprehensive package but the smart ones would have done a lot of work ahead of time.

 Still, reaction to the guilty verdicts was a necessity and that took time.

 As I watched it unfold on TV, it was interesting to see the various networks handle the late-breaking story.

Wendy Mesley called Rafferty, Michael Stafford in announcing that he was convicted. She stumbled through the opening segment of The National.

The news anchors on CP24 also stumbled to say something intelligent when their live newsfeed went dead for a minute or two.

What was really distracting on CP24 coverage was the advertisements that kept flashing.

Below the script that read Rafferty was convicterd on all three charges was a flashy ad for a seafood and crab celebration.

What was best about its coverage was that it continued to be live instead of running pre-packaged stories that would have been ready to go. Those were put on hold and we got two hours of live coverage.

And then there was Sun News Network, which was running a program recorded earlier in the day. The host was talking with a reporter who was in the court house earlier and he was reporting on what the juried had asked to review. But it was daylight and all of the other networks were live on scene after dark. Sun News Network didn’t even have a newsfeed update on the trial.

CTV’s Marcia MacMillan handled the host duties the best. She was poised and prepped.

 Did you watch any of the breaking news on TV last Friday?

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