PLEASE VOTE BY APRIL 30 (the end of national “Media Ethics Week” sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists)
We had a formal complaint from Washington’s Secretary of State, Sam Reed, against KIRO7 Eyewitness News (CBS affiliate in Seattle).
We invited KIRO to comment, but they did not respond to repeated letters, phone calls or emails. (NOTE: If KIRO responds, we’ll post their response HERE.)
Oct. 15 story on felon voters:
In his written complaint, Reed contended that the stories were “factually incorrect, incomplete, misleading, sensationalized, inflammatory and unfair.”
However, Reed and his office staff decided NOT to ask for a full News Council hearing on this complaint. In an email to the WNC, they stated:
“After several conversations as part of the News Council negotiating period, KIRO eventually agreed to pull down their stories from the Web site if we would muzzle ourselves and not inform the News Council of the nature of this accommodation. This we cannot agree to, since this leaves KIRO offering very little and conceding nothing.
“At the same time, we weary of this frustrating battle and the countless man-hours devoted to researching chapter and verse of this sorry episode, and we see little value in continuing to bang our head against the wall, knowing that KIRO will boycott the proceedings and will not acknowledge errors in fact and in tone, much less fix the problem. A News Council finding in our favor would not change the dynamic; properly, in a nation that so values the First Amendment, the council cannot order KIRO to do anything.”
True: We cannot order KIRO to do anything. However, we invite members of the public to view or read the stories and to read Sam Reed’s complaint and letter.
We also invite members of the public to vote on the Draft Questions that the News Council would have voted on IF this case had gone to a WNC hearing.
In other words, we’re inviting you to be members of a “Citizens Online News Council” and render a public verdict on the merits of this complaint. Call it a “virtual hearing.”
Your votes, comments and feedback will be helpful to the WNC, to Sam Reed’s office, and (we hope) to KIRO7. View Comments.