GIMME SHELTER- News subject: Keep your house out of the limelight

Ric Barrick, Charlottesville's Communications Director


Q: A TV station wants to do a live shot in my neighborhood with my house in the foreground.  They're not on my property but on a city street. Can I stop them? 

A: As long as the television crew is on public land, there isn't much a homeowner can do to prevent them from going live from the neighborhood. However, if the live truck is parked illegally or the crew is blocking traffic, then the police can be called to get them ticketed or moved. Typically, news crews are instructed by management not to identify a house or address if it's not specific to a crime or a noteworthy news event. 

Recently, one local station was doing a story on crime in the Fifeville neighborhood, and a resident objected to having his home filmed. Because it was a general news story, and not about a particular house or street, the station was agreeable to turning the camera in another direction. However, if the house itself had been the subject of the story, or the street in front of it, the station would be within its rights to film the house.

In Charlottesville, I've found that both of our television stations encourage their crews to listen to neighborhood concerns and will work with residents, as they do with the City, to keep good relations alive if it doesn't affect their coverage of the story.