Magazine article American Journalism Review

Aiding a Surrender

Magazine article American Journalism Review

Aiding a Surrender

Article excerpt

A possible bloodbath became a peaceful surrender when KKTV news anchor Eric Singer played a vital role in ending the 42-day "Texas Seven" manhunt at a Holiday Inn in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Singer, 43, a veteran of covering news in the Pikes Peak region, had never before become personally involved in unfoldinq dramas. But that changed on January 24 when convicted rapist Patrick H. Murphy Jr., 39, and armed robber Donald K. Newbury, 38, said that they would turn themselves in to police if they could make live statements on KKTV News Channel 11, a CBS affiliate. Newbury and Murphy talked about the "corrupt" justice system in Texas during the interviews and said the parole stipulations and tough sentences were too extreme. Police said that without Singer's assistance, these armed fugitives could have turned a sensitive operation into a fatal one. AJR editorial assistant Ananda Shorey talked to Singer about his interview with the last two remaining fugitives who escaped from a prison near San Antonio in Decem ber.

AJR: What made you decide to interview the fugitives?

SINGER: We had been on the story from start to finish. We owned this story. We got live shots out there.... My first thought was that I am not a trained negotiator, but [the police] wanted a male because one of the escapees had a history with sexual abuse. It was not a decision that was willy-nilly. We felt at that instant that, one, we owned the story from start to finish; and, second, we thought it was appropriate because isn't that what the ultimate job of a journalist is--to help others? Isn't it the ultimate help to save a life?

AJR: Did you feel that you were playing too much of a role in the news?

SINGER: Interesting. Actually, we followed the RTNDA (Radio-Television News Directors Association] recommendations to the letter. Before we did the interview we did a preamble. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.