Tuesday, July 24, 2007

news coverage of a tragedy

The murders that began the week in otherwise-sleepy Cheshire brought an understandable deluge of press coverage on the local channels, WCBS-AM and other outlets. WTNH had strong stories by Jamie Muro, Bob Wilson and Tricia Taskey.
WVIT had reports by Brad Drazen and Susan Goodman. Then, it had video of one of the suspects entering court and photos of the two suspects on the WVIT website fairly quickly Tuesday morning.
WFSB had reports from Jamie Roth and Diana Rocco but didn't seem to have video on its website later.
WTIC covered it Monday with solid reports from Laurie Perez and Eric Zager but typically scant followup coverage on Tuesday morning on the Web site.
The story received live coverage Tuesday on Connecticut news leader WTIC-AM and New York giant WCBS-AM (880) but one radio listener locally had harsh words for the coverage on Clear Channel-owned WELI-AM:
"The horrific home invasion and family murder in Cheshire should be the lead story on every local newscast today. What does WELI do at 8 this morning? They lead with a story that sounds more like a station promo, about the morning show being done live in front of New Haven City Hall to protest ID Cards for illegal aliens. Not only does this show a lack of news judgment, this show outright disrespect for the news product and the audience."

Not to knock another state paper, but the Connecticut Post didn't even put the Cheshire story on page one. Are you kidding me? This is the worst Connecticut crime in months. It was covered by the Guardian in London.

As per the comment to this post, "Inside Edition" also did something on the tragedy and WQUN-AM (1220) had good coverage; I'm sure CNN must have done something, too. I also saw the report on ABC's World News Tonight that was pretty good.

As for how journalists cover this story without bias, it's their training to get as many angles of the story as possible, present the many facts (in the old inverted pyramid fashion if you're writing a news story), and attribute the facts to police or eyewitnesses. Adrenalin and training take over. Opinions are for family, neighbors and viewers to express. If a larger issue comes out of the story down the road, then a columnist or newspaper editorial writer can weigh in with an opinion.


Anonymous said...

Channel 3 did excellent and compassionate coverage tonight at 6 that included an interview with the family’s pastor. Unfortunately police still don’t know why the family was targeted. Inside Edition also had the story, using the same pictures that Channel 3 had. The national show later explained what families could do to avoid this kind of tragedy. WQUN in the next town of Hamden also has good coverage on this story. I wish I knew how journalists are able to cover this kind of story factually and compassionately. I’m sure it is not easy.

jdfromla said...

I have a link to one of the neighborhood people interviewed in all the news stories so I searched for video clips online. Turns out the story LED news broadcasts in Chicago, Philadelphia, and other major cities around the country. So yes, the Post and WELI and all the other news outlets with their own agendas practiced poor journalism with an appalling lack of ethics.

Anonymous said...

Didn't WELI fire all their news people about a year ago? No wonder they didn't have any coverage.

Anonymous said...

WELI ceased to be a real radio station years ago. They are a Faux Noise Nutwork outlet, spewing forth 24 hours of hate, distortion and propaganda.

Remember when it used to serve the New Haven community?