Virginia Tech Shootings: The First 48 Hours


On April 16, 2007, television viewers throughout the world watched in horror and sadness as the story of the shootings at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University developed. No organization covered the events at Virginia Tech more precisely and thoroughly or provided to its most immediate local viewers more detailed information than WSLS. On the first day of these events, the station broke away from local coverage only for a brief 20-minute connection to NBC Nightly News. Returning to heavy coverage on the morning of the second day, the station resumed total coverage at noon and continued until midnight. Facts were carefully checked. Sources of information were provided. In moments of distress and potential panic, local news organizations become more than information centers for their viewers. They become sites of connection and community. For providing all these—clear information, continuous connection, and a deep sense of responsibility to a community—WSLS receives a Peabody Award.


Executive producers: Shane Moreland (News Director), Jessica Ross, Jerry Caldwell (Assignment Manager). Producers: Stephanie Echols, Julia Reusch, Laura Markowski, Matt Tansey, Alison Matthiessen. Directors: Amit Patel, Ken Orris, Matt Belk, Nat Olinger. Writers: Katelyn Petroka, Pam Garcia, Greg O’Brien. Tape editor: Kelly Wright. Videographers: Ryan Anderson, Rosa Duarte, Jarrett Henshaw, Tim Hess, Ken Lucas, Hoai Nam Nguyen, Jeff Perzan, Ashley Roberts, Jarrod Shultz, Chris Whitley. Photographers: John Appicello, David Tate. Anchors: Juliette Bickford, John Carlin, Karen McNew, Jay Warren. Satellite truck operations: Mike Wright. Reporters: Johanna Calfee, Jeremy Crider, Rosa Duarte, Denise Eck, Angela Hatcher, Lindsey Henley, Dawn Jefferies, Scott Leamon, Ashley Roberts, Jay Warren.