Archive for Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Letters to the editor: Sensationalist journalism, TV viewers have power

December 15, 2004

SENSATIONALIST JOURNALISM

To the editor:

I have recently come across the article entitled "Televised report shocks business owner" (published in last Wednesday's edition of The Mirror) on a site known for its oft-times slant towards humor. However, I and many of the commentators on that site were shocked and appalled by the story, and many of us also wrote KCTV-5, its owner Meredith Corporation, and even so far as CBS to complain.

Sensationalist journalism has all but eaten America whole, preying on American fears of terrorism. While the big corporations may feed off of it, many of us expect better from smaller, local news stations.

Half-formed truths and unverified "experts" only succeed in calling into question this station's -- and, in result, its owning company's -- ethics and reliability.

I sincerely hope that this matter traverses far past the Kansas border, and have full intentions to pursue it as far as it can and will go.

Karina Tucker,
Bellingham, Wash.

TV VIEWERS HAVE POWER

To the editor:

As a member of the media in the greater Kansas City area, I was saddened to hear about KCTV 5's report on McGraw Fertilizer -- although I didn't see the report. It makes media professionals look bad and I'm not the only one who feels this way. Just check out the discussion board at KCTV5.com.

I also must admit that I'm a little biased in my opinion on this story, having worked with KMBC-TV 9 for more than a decade -- an organization that has sent Bryan Busby to talk with our grade school students about science and weather and donated video materials to help raise funds for the fairgrounds after the tornado.

For me, there has been a disturbing element coming out of some television news organizations, i.e. CBS and the Dan Rather controversy about forged documents, sensationalism in the news, etc.

TV stations are all chasing the viewer, which has become more and more difficult to do with so many options available (I think we have 160 channels on our satellite system). And the local 10 o'clock news is no exception. Channel 5 recently won the 10 o'clock sweeps in November, meaning people are watching their news. If you (the viewer) don't like this kind of sensationalism, it's easy to fix. After CSI, turn the channel.

The power for these news organizations comes from you, the viewer, and you have the power to take it away.

Thad Rose,
Tonganoxie.

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