This week, viewers questioned whether Amber Roberts of FOX 46 News was taking her job too seriously when she reported on the collapsing of a bridge while standing only feet away from the site.
The entire North Carolina region had been hit heavily with storms, rain, and flooding over the course of last Thursday. Though the rains were expected to stop later in the week, they didn’t stop without causing some damage first.
Roberts and her photojournalist, Jon Monte, were in position when Monte began recording their news video.
— Amber Roberts (@AmberFOX46) November 13, 2020
Roberts took a solid stance, pointing to the area of the bridge that was clearly failing in its integrity.
The whole area was sagging well below the rest of the road, possibly because of the significant flooding experienced recently in the area.
“This road, this bridge, is literally sinking. Take a look at the ground; you can see it caving in. This is incred-ibly scary!”
As Roberts spoke, the bridge caved in with her and Monte only feet away from the sagging area, as well as the rushing river below. The video depicted approximately a 6-foot expanse falling into the river and rushing away.
Roberts and Monte quickly corrected, backing away from the break.
“Okay, we’re backing out. We’re backing out. Just right here, live on TV, we just saw the road collapse, the same road that we were just standing on seconds ago, so thank God that we are backing out.”
Monte then returned to Roberts, who was prepared to report on what it was like to experience the collapse from such a close range.
“It was definitely a scary situation for me and my photojournalist. We just had to be calm in the moment and just step back and hope for the best. And thankfully, we are okay, but what is far from okay is this road here.”
Some were surprised at Amber Roberts’ level of composure.
@amberfox is the model of composure and analysis in the moment that good reporting requires. wow. but PLEASE BE CAREFUL
— fafa (@fafa019) November 13, 2020
Whatever they pay you, it ain't enough. Bridge almost fell out from under your feet and didn't even interrupt your sentence.
— Android 1312 (@android_1312) November 13, 2020
Amazing job…I would've screamed and cursed like a sailor! Amazing composure 👏👏
— Amy Caples (@alcaples) November 13, 2020
True professional, I'm almost certain had that been me, every expletive in the dictionary would have made it on air. So glad everyone is okay. Be well
— Truth Syrum (@truth70s) November 14, 2020
How in the hell did you not use any obscenities?!?!?! My report would have went like, “ this road is incredibly BLEEEP BLEEEEP BLEEEEP BLEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
— RestnPieces (@IAmRestnPieces) November 13, 2020
Some were simply grateful Monte and Roberts were safe after this experience.
Thankful you’re okay!
— Coleman J Montgomery (@colemanreports) November 13, 2020
I am glad everyone is okay. That was too close to call. Please be safe.
— Jeremy (@Jeremyno2288) November 13, 2020
Glad you’re safe. Scary!! Stay safe out there!!
— Bяîаи 🍁🍂 (@realBrianDodge) November 13, 2020
So glad you two are OK. My heart dropped.
— Valerie Black (@ProfVBlack) November 13, 2020
A couple of more steps.. America would have mourned the death of this young lady🕊💗..
— From Hood 2 Reality🕊 (@Micaiah211) November 13, 2020
Others agreed and felt the pair should put their safety before capturing a good story.
You should never have gotten that close. As soon as you could see the bridge was buckling you should have immediately retreated instead of going closer for the shot. Moving water is one of the strongest forces on the planet. Always be aware of that.
— Autumn Deidre 🍁🍂 (@mandalorchick) November 13, 2020
This is why you do NOT get this close! News or not, you do not need to be that close… is is worth your life? I am pretty sure you can get your point across without being that close.
— Dpienta (@dpienta) November 14, 2020
Thankfully, they are safe. But with due respect, I think they were playing with life as the bridge obviously seemed ready to collapse.
— Doston (@Dostondoc) November 14, 2020
Never stand on a roadway being undercut by floodwaters that badly. Even within 10 feet of the edge of water you can see. I'm glad you're ok, but you got lucky. That could have ended terribly.
— B. Dean Berry (@BDeanBerry1) November 13, 2020
Stay back 500 ft that camera has a great lense we don't need to rescue you or your camera man!!!! We know what happens just stay back and zoom in
— Joel A Lee (@JDWAS) November 13, 2020
Why would you risk harm to yourself to get this report on a 6' section of bridge? Your life isn't worth a local news segment.
— Winston Wolf (@WinstonWolfLV) November 13, 2020
A few viewers were much more critical.
Pretty stupid to get that close to it
— Joe Lauro (@jjlauro63) November 13, 2020
— N (@Mrsmtj) November 15, 2020
gee let me walk on this road that is sinking !!! i bet you won't do that again
— Alan B. (@BuchnerAlan) November 14, 2020
How stupid to stand on the bridge WHERE it is collapsing to show it's collapsing! WTH was that?
— I've gone Feral. Factotum (@Skooked) November 13, 2020
Reporter should be suspended for her own safety.
— VADER (@T_R_I_U_M_P_H) November 13, 2020
Talk about a scary situation!
Though Roberts and Monte obviously caught something on camera that gives people, particularly North Carolinians, something to talk about, the bridge collapsing hardly would have been worth their safety.
Particularly in 2020, the last thing people need to see is more examples of death or near-misses, no matter the setting.