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Forum News Service, Published November 05 2013

VIDEO: Wis. skydive plane collision video sold

SUPERIOR, Wis. - It didn’t take long for the Superior skydiving crew to turn calamity into cash: The helmet-cam video of Saturday’s collision has been bought by NBC News.

“We were able to get something taken care of,” Barry Sinex, an instructor for Skydive Superior who was among the 11-member team that survived the mid-air accident, said Monday.

Sinex declined to reveal the terms of the arrangement.

Citing anonymous sources at NBC Universal, the New York Daily News and Washington Post reported that the network purchased the dramatic video taken from multiple helmet cameras for $100,000.

But a source familiar with the deal told the News Tribune that amount was incorrect.

“They’re posting how much the rights are for. That’s not accurate,” the source said, adding: “We wish (it was.)”

The Washington Post reported a similar story, as well as the $100,000 figure, in an article critical of the network for practicing “checkbook journalism.”

“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,” the Post story said.

But the Daily News quoted an unnamed NBC representative as saying “our licensing of this footage is standard industry practice and is the result of a very competitive process with other major broadcast outlets.

NBC posted the video on its website, with teasers to “NBC Nightly News,” the “Today” show and an upcoming “Dateline NBC.”