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A reminder about how dangerous our work can be

Being a news camera operator is one of the most physically demanding, and as we’ve been sadly reminded today, dangerous jobs in our industry.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for City-tv cameraman Bill Atanasoff who was hit by a car as he was shooting a separate police investigation in Toronto late last night. He had pulled up to the scene where other journalists were newsgathering, crossed the street to start shooting and was hit by the car.

Atanasoff was thrown several metres by the impact, in full view of the other media and police. He is in hospital in critical condition with injuries to his neck, skull and legs.

Police say they don’t know if Bill’s camera obscured his vision of the street or the oncoming car.

We know camera operators are incredibly vulnerable to injury. They are often looking through eyepieces and rushing to get to a scene at the same time — meaning their own vision is obstructed and balance jeopardized. We know alot of shooting goes on in busy areas often at night and in bad weather. We know alot of news gathering takes place in unruly crowds and angry confrontations. And we know people are working longer hours, travelling further and doing more.

So let’s take a moment to think about what we do, remember to be careful in what is a stressful profession, and talk openly to one another when we think enough is enough.

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