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Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 2 months ago

how were the tv networks able to broadcast lee harvey oswald's murder live for the whole world to see?

someone asked a question which got me thinking about the kennedy assassination. jack ruby shot oswald on live tv in a parking garage surrounded by dallas police. setting up tv cameras outside a tv studio was no small undertaking in 1963 and required enormous preparation. portable tv cameras did not yet exist and studio cameras, even black and white, were bulky heavy behemoths sitting on tripods, with multiple thick cables and hefty power supplies. also they would have needed to reserve telephone lines and install special equipment to transfer their broadcast back to the studio.

it seems like an incredible amount of work to accomplish on such short notice, only a few hours after kennedy's assassination, without advance warning. even more surprising is the whole event was recorded for posterity. that meant someone would have needed to set up a kinetoscope to film it from the tv screen, since videotape was not yet invented. strange they just happened to be filming at very the moment ruby shot him.

5 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    The killing of Lee Harvey Oswald was shot on 16mm sound film cameras.  The film was rushed to the studio, processed and put to air within an hour of the event. It was not a live broadcast, as Studio Cameras were NOT in the building and it was several years before the smaller (even then big and heavy) video cameras became common.

    Source(s): I was a TV news cameraman and did not start using video cameras until May 1985 although fellow cameramen at my company were using them much earlier.
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  • 2 months ago

    Jack Ruby was a common sight around police headquarters. No one saw him as a threat. It happened in an instant. No time for some producer in some studio miles away to interrupt the live broadcast.

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  • 2 months ago

    It wasn't only a few hours after; it was 2 days later. JFK died on Friday, November 22; Ruby shot Oswald on Sunday, November 24.

    It happened at the police headquarters of a major city, where some of the equipment was probably already installed, because a lot of breaking news happens at police departments.

    They didn't happen to be filming at that moment. The police had everyone ahead of time that would be the only moment that Oswald would be anywhere public, which meant it would be the only opportunity to shoot him -- with a camera or with a gun, so the television cameras here there to shoot him and Ruby was there to shoot him.

    And they were filming because they knew that they would want film of Oswald to show on the news that evening, and that it would be the only chance to film Ruby that day.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    The tv networks were already in place covering JFK's assassination.  I fail to see the problem.

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  • 2 months ago

    The first portable TV cameras were released in 1962 and Kennedy was assassinated in November of 1963.

    While there would have been some preparation it would not have been as much as you assume.

    Plus his trial was big news making the set up time worth it.

    • Walter B
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      The first portable video recorder and camera I ever saw was black and white and carried on the back of an assistant. The camera was so heavy a camera brace was needed. That was in 1971.

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