Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NBC Pays for Skydivers’ Video

NBC News Exclusive
The cameras strapped to the skydivers' helmets were supposed to memorialize their perfectly timed jumps and exhilarating descent from two small planes to the earth 12,000 feet below.

Instead, the footage filmed by five daredevils shows the terrifying moment when the aircraft collided above Wisconsin, flinging parachuters into the air like plastic action figures and sending one plane into a fiery dive across a sunset-lit sky.

NBC News secured the footage Monday, paying the skydivers $100,000 for the rights to air the video and lock them into exclusive, televised interviews on the “Today” show, “Nightly News” and an upcoming episode of “Dateline,” according to the NY Daily News.

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The images are heart-stopping: One Cessna suddenly sandwiched atop another; the legs of a jumper dangling over the tail of a plane; a skydiver hanging onto a step like an acrobat before he lets go; a fireball roaring out of one plane as it plunges downward.

The thrill-seekers' helmets also filmed the miraculous aftermath of the crash: one by one, the jumpers landing on the ground, shaken but largely uninjured, and hopping into a truck to gather up the others.

All nine skydivers survived.

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Mainstream news organizations typically frown on paying sources, lest the payments taint the sources’ veracity or color the news outlet’s objectivity in reporting the story. Although some news organizations, such as the National Enquirer and TMZ.com, pay for news, checkbook journalism is considered unethical by the Society of Professional Journalists and other professional news organizations, according to The Washington Post.

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