I am well aware of it. I am very well aware of criticism I am facing after making the decision to go live on Facebook with a breaking story after witnessing a minor accident on the afternoon of Friday, September 2, 2016 at the intersection of North Wabash Avenue and West Kem Road on the northwest side of Marion (Indiana).
As someone who is an executive producer of “Vote for the Girls (USA on YouTube)” and with some broadcast journalism experience background while attending Mississinewa High School and previously launched a news department back in 1999, you would know what I am talking about. I’m sure that all broadcast journalists have to know whether or not to shoot a Facebook live segment (something I do not do very often, unless it is warranted).
The decision to go on Facebook live just a half hour after witnessing the minor accident, met my threshold and met my threshold of the decision to go on Facebook Live, despite being shaken up. However, keep in mind that I had to find a spot with a stable Wi-Fi connection in order to provide the live update as it happened and had to work with what I have available.
My decision to post the live video on Facebook simply came down to the obligation and a duty to inform fans (both on THIS WEB SITE and Vote for the Girls) and friends without any f**king question in my judgement whatsoever. The decision also came down to the decision of this one news story since I also run the “Vote for the Girls” franchise.
One clear example of when to make the decision to go live on Facebook and/or post on YouTube at the first opportunity (besides posting episodes) happened during the summer break, starting with the very second I got alerted (approximately 4:00 AM Eastern) from sources in Orlando, Florida of word via Twitter about the murder (or should I say the Assassination) of Christina Grimmie on June 11, 2016. The reason that story met my threshold of my definition of an assassination is because Christina Grimmie was my Vote for the Girls pick on the sixth season of The Voice and decided to pick eventual winner Joshua Kaufman (I cannot accept Mr. Kaufman as a fellow Hoosier because he is from Virgina and the reason why WTHR “13 NBC” anchorman Scott Swan is no longer my all-time Indianapolis anchorman–that position is now held by Ray Cortopassi at Fox 59 in Indianapolis) as a “Vote for the Worst pick.” Two years later (THIS YEAR), NOW I know that I had made the right decision for a good reason or two (Watch “Remembering Christina Grimmie” from VFTG and “INNewsCenter’s 300th YouTube clip” below the details) ;
- After Alisan Porter won “The Voice” and watching BOTH clips from Alisan Porter and Joshua Kaufman from “Star Search” back in the day on YouTube as well as after I OFFICIALLY sold my virginity to my girlfriend, Kymberly, as a threat if a female contestant did not win shows like “The Voice” or “American Idol”, which in fact did happen and what eventually lead to the most brutal punishment at the time.
- Ever since the late Christina Grimmie’s third place finish two years ago, I’ve since made changes to Vote for the Girls to include “flex picking” (or switching picks) last year that produced my first American Idol moderator victory after Nick Fradiani was announced the winner (though I did not watch the finale performances, but Kymberly did because Jax Cole, the last female contestant, finished third, and I never watch an all-male finale nor from 1986 until I posted as part of a late “April Fool’s Day” prank after 23 years on the INNewsCenter YouTube channel, decided to post Scott Jones and Gene Cox anchoring the April 3, 2009 edition of Fox 59’s morning newscast–there are certain days when the day is right or when I do get advance notice then and ONLY THEN will that ever happen)….
Often times, most of the moderator panelists on VFTG also do double duty as a de facto reporter as a broadcast journalist. The first time that ever happened was on June 11, 2016 when I had to broadcast a special episode of “Vote for the Girls” that was eventually posted on the YouTube channel the night of June 11, 2016 (watch below) and also on INNewsCenter (watch below).
I have faced way too much criticism in recent years over recent decisions and a great majority of those decisions proved to be justified (similar to when a police officer has to shoot a suspect), but the fact of the matter is many of those other decisions were made because of what I have available at that time. Take the WISH-TV/Bright House dispute eight years ago, look at the repercussions that followed and the reason why I have cut the cord some years before it became a trend not because of costs, but after the big four Fort Wayne stations were dropped from Bright House is what killed INNewsCenter and outdated equipment . Another clear example was raising just enough funds for my American Idol audition five years ago, when I had no other choice but to raise funds by holding a yard sale yet the side effect of that was breaking the lease.
I’ve received a number of comments about the accident since Friday night. As the webmaster of AvaZinn.com, my obligation is to primarily inform people of Grant County, Indiana with this web site and entertain (such as Vote for the Girls and INNewsCenter). That obligation unfortunately, sometimes, includes uncomfortable subjects or comments that are difficult to hear or even make you angry–most of those comments were hurtful and at times disrespectful for a transgender woman nearing 34 years of age. And while this webmaster is human as well and we have similar reactions. These are situations we take very seriously.
By posting the live Facebook video Friday afternoon, you were able to get a third side of the story, the witness’ side. I wanted to give some insight into the mind of someone who happened to have witnessed the minor accident as it happened so there was some context and exposure for you. For some, maybe it’s something you are already familiar with; for others it may be something you cannot even comprehend. It was difficult for many of us to watch and understand coming from the witness’ point of view. I’ve seen it way too many times since the day I moved to Marion from Van Buren on October 16, 1996.
The decision to post the live video on Facebook is just a small part in the existing commitment I made on May 26, 2001–the day I graduated from Mississinewa High School. That commitment did not change after I began a long transition to a woman in 2004.
Again, it is the reason why I do this web site and I hope you understand the tough choices we have to make in making the decision to go on Facebook Live. Like our viewers, we want 100 percent of the story.
Founder and Webmaster, AvaZinn.com since November 1, 1999
PS: After I watched the video back, I almost swore by saying “This is the f**king news” after I heard a car honk but instead I said, “Oh, crap.” I’ve posted part of the clip as “Ava Zinn – The Thug Life (OFFICIAL EDITED version)” on my YouTube channel and an unedited version has been donated to the ThugLifeVideos YouTube channel.