Journalists are known for going into war-torn countries, areas ravaged by disasters, and some other incredibly dangerous places at unsafe times, so risking injury can be part of the job. Then there are other times where reporters get hurt by just doing their jobs covering dull, mundane stories. So while all the reporters on this list cover vastly different stories, what is common among them is that all of these reporters were hurt live on-the-air.
10. M.A. Rosko
In November of 2013, M.A. Rosko from Minneapolis Fox 9 was visiting an outdoor ice rink, because what else do you report on in Minneapolis in November? Rosko was attempting to skate backwards during the interview when her feet went out from under her.
She tried to break her fall with her hands, but still ended up smashing her face on the ice. Like a true pro, Rosko got up and finished her report despite the nasty spill. She had no serious lasting effects except a bruised face and ego.
9. David Medrano Mora
In September of 2015, Mexican Fox Sports reporter David Medrano Mora was doing a live report from the parking lot of the Guadalajara International Airport about a soccer match that was to happen later that day. As the anchor back at the studio talked to him, Mora noticed out of the corner of his eye a car approaching.
Unfortunately, the vehicle came in too quickly and Mora didn’t even have time to scream before he was hit by the car. The news anchor carried on with the story and luckily Mora wasn’t seriously hurt.
8. Mike Amor
Skateboarding can be very dangerous, which is part of its appeal as an extreme sport. That danger generally only applies to people on skateboards, but Mike Amor from Channel Seven News in Australia learned that it can be dangerous for spectators as well. In November of 2014, Amor was doing a live report from a skateboard park in Los Angeles when a skater lost control of his board and it smoked Amor in the back of the head. If you watch the video, it looks like Amor’s head is a magnet and the skateboard is a piece of metal. The skater couldn’t have hit him better if he intentionally threw it at him.
Ultimately, Amor was okay and later tweeted, “My professional life now complete: appearances on CNN, NBC Today Show, Inside Edition, TMZ & even Perez Hilton. Ugh.”
7. Rob Leth
In 2008, Canadian weatherman Rob Leth was doing a segment at a hill in Toronto, Ontario, where some children were tobogganing. What should have been a very mundane story on a slow news day turned into a viral video after Leth stood at the bottom of the hill while two of the sledders raced towards him.
Perhaps he had planned for them to go on either side of him, but nevertheless, it didn’t work out and one of them slammed into Leth’s legs, causing him to do a 360 degree flip in the air before crashing hard. Leth remained professional throughout and signed off despite sounding like he was in a lot of pain. Leth ended up getting up and walking it off.
6. Sara Sidner
Due to many factors, Ferguson, Missouri, essentially became the perfect storm of racism. This culminated in civil unrest after the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, on August 9, 2014. This led to months of uneasiness in the small-ish town of 20,000 people, and in November, the grand jury decided not to indict Wilson, which led to more protests that erupted into riots. Media from all over the world was in the town and one of CNN’s reporters on the ground was Sara Sidner.
Sidner wasn’t far from a burning building and was talking to Jake Tapper, who was back in the studio, when someone threw a rock at her, hitting her in the head. Sidner then dropped probably one of the most justifiable f-bombs in the history of CNN. She recovered, apologized and said she had been hit with worse things. This should be a clear message to anyone who wants to go into journalism: there could be a chance that things worse than rocks could be thrown at your head.
5. Alex Bernhardt
Myrmecia, better known as bull ants, are found mostly in Australia, and they are known for their size and their venomous bite. Alex Bernhardt, from Channel Nine News, learnt that first hand when she was doing a live report and she was suddenly bitten by one of the ants, causing her to go off-script in a profanity-laced outburst of pain in August of 2015.
Strangely enough, this wasn’t the only time that Bernhardt has been hurt on the job. While covering a murder trial, a woman blew cigarette smoke in her face and then put out the cigarette on Bernhardt’s face. Another time she was interviewing a man who had been arrested for drugs and a replica grenade, and he threw a bucket of water on her. Which, let’s be honest, is a lot more hilarious than having cigarettes put out on you and being attacked by little jerk insects.
4. Anthea Turner
In 1988, Anthea Turner was reporting live from London for the BBC’s children’s news show, UP2U. She was sitting on the back of a van between two pieces of pyrotechnics and in front of some black sugar paper. The idea was that after she said her line, she was to get away from the van and a rider on a dirt bike would fly out of the back of the van through the pyrotechnics. Unfortunately, there was a miscue and the guy on the bike was signaled to proceed with the stunt as soon as Turner started talking.
The rider burst through the sugar paper and Turner burst into flames from the pyrotechnics. We can’t be sure, but the insane amount of hairspray Turner must have used probably didn’t help with the fire situation. Turner’s arm and face were burned and she suffered from temporary hearing loss. She luckily made a full recovery and it led to stronger safety regulations at the BBC.
3. Hanna Mahameed
A country with constant conflict and which is one of the most dangerous places in the world is Israel. Needless to say, reporters there have a high chance of being hurt on the air. One such reporter was Arab-Israeli reporter Hanna Mahameed, who was covering a protest for Lebanese-based Al-Mayadeen TV in October 2015. While live on TV, Mahameed was hit directly in the face with fragments from a grenade that was fired by the Israeli police.
On the video, you can hear Mahameed’s blood curdling screams as people scramble to help her. Amazingly, after being treated for the burns on her face, Mahameed returned to the air just hours later with her face covered in bandages, forever shaming anyone who calls into work sick because they have a sniffle.
2. Jane Boal
In September of 1999, Jane Boal, a freelance journalist, was doing a live report from a school in Chicago for WGN’s noontime newscast. While on camera, Boal apologized for the sound of a nearby car, then took a step to the side and that’s when a car plowed into her at about 30 miles per hour in front of the camera. The accident tore cartilage and ligaments in both legs and required surgery.
Amazingly, she returned to work three weeks after the accident. She became famous in local news markets and was hired on full time by WGN, but unfortunately the station let her go in May of 2009. While she had hosted recurring segments on WGN, she remains best known as the reporter who got hit by a car on live TV. Just what she always dreamed of as an aspiring journalist, we’re sure.
1. Melissa Sander
If you’ve been on the internet any time after 2006, there is a good chance that you saw Melissa Sander in action. You may not know her name, but she was the star of one of the earliest viral videos of the internet and is arguably the first “epic fail” video. Sander is the one, the only, Grape Lady. If you don’t know who grape lady is because you have been locked away in a cellar because you were kidnapped by a doomsday cult, then please take a minute and watch the video in all of its painful glory. The clip first surfaced on YouTube in January of 2006, but it was actually recorded in 1998.
Live on Fox 5 in Atlanta, Georgia, Sander was reporting from Chateau Elan Winery and Resort for a grape stomping competition and decided to get in on some of the action. After pretending to cheat, Sander tripped and fell face first several feet from the platform to the ground below. From there, she screams in pain and complains that she can’t breathe. Sander says that she broke several ribs and had to spend several weeks in the hospital. However, the long lasting effect of being one of the oldest and most enduring laughingstocks of the internet probably hurts a lot more than a few busted ribs.