Columbus TV Mobilizes to Cover OSU Attack

Columbus, Ohio, TV stations scrambled Monday to provide near-instant live coverage of a violent attack on the Ohio State University campus that sent nine people to the hospital.

Affiliates went wall-to-wall on-air and online after an alert was issued for an active shooting at 9:56 a.m. and continued through the morning after one shooter was reported dead.  “Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College,” the alert said.

Police later reported that the attack involved the suspect driving his vehicle onto campus, hitting victims, and then stabbed people with a butcher knife. The gunshots were fired by police who killed the suspect when he did not comply with their orders.

One of the victims is in critical condition.

WCMH, Nexstar’s NBC affiliate, aired live chopper footage on its Facebook page, where viewers, including people with friends and relatives who are students at the school, posted news as they learned it. The station also had live coverage on its website.

WBNS, Dispatch’s CBS affiliate, also streamed its live broadcast feed on its website, as well as footage from its chopper.  Anchors noted that news choppers were limited to the periphery of the campus, as police took over the airspace immediately over the university. Sinclair’s ABC affiliate, WSYX, and Fox affiliate, WTTE, streamed its broadcast coverage as well.

In addition to on-the-ground and overhead reports, affiliates monitored social media and provided direction to individuals on how best to report that they were safe.