Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Meanwhile, On Channel 7...

KETV must be trying to win over WOWT viewers by getting into the business of half-assed reporting and stupid stories:

• Last Thursday, the station screwed up royally in its coverage of a car accident involving three teenagers. We were swamped with emails griping about the coverage. One emailer summarizes the screwups better than we can:

KM3 at 5pm had 3 teens critically injured in 2 car crash.

WOWT did not have the story at 5pm [surprise!] but had it right at 6pm that 3 teens were critically injured in 2 car crash.

Poor KETV. At 5 Rob and Julie reported a 3 car crash injures 2 and kills 1.

At 6pm. Tom Elser live reported that a 2 car crash kills 1 and injures 2. Banner headline that read "FATAL ACCIDENT"

At 10PM. Tom Elser again went live with a Banner headline "ROLLOVER CRASH". The only mention of the earlier mistakes came from Julie, "initally investigators thought 1 of them had died but tonight all 3 are alive."

But, as another reader points out: "They made a correction at 10, but still had a double-box graphic that read 'DEADLY ACCIDENT'"

• Another alert reader enjoyed it when, reporting on a January 24 near Kennard, Farrah Fazal referred to assistance from a fire department from "North Bend, Iowa."

• Still another writes of a Six-esque graphics error during KETV's new morning show this past Saturday:

Laura Liggett was reporting on a truck that plowed into someone's house, and while showing video of the truck, the graphic "Olympic Champ Visits" was flashed on screen. . . . According to their graphics, the "olympic champ" was visiting [by driving his] truck into someone's house.

• Finally, the "7 Can't Help Itself" crew appears to have addpted the Big Six's penchant for stretching the "local connection" angle to its most ridiculous limits. On Monday, Rob & Julie intro'd a story about ABC anchor Bob Woodruff's injury in Iraq by promsing to bring us individuals with "close ties" to the event.

It turns out that all they had were a couple of local newspaper reporters who have been to Iraq. Neither appeared to have met Woodruff or the camera operator who was also injured. Neither of them had ever been injured while reporting from Iraq. They had just been there.

Wow. If Channel 7's goal is to match WOWT gaffe-for-gaffe, then they're well on their way to catching up.

In 1981, as ABC anchor Frank Reynolds tried to make sense of what was happening in the immediate aftermath of an attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, his producer handed him a note saying that White House Press Secretary James Brady had died from gunshot wounds. Reynolds read the news and continued working. Several minutes later, when told that Brady was still alive, a visibly shaken and angry Reynolds barked, "Let's nail it down! Let's get it right!"

Channel 7 could use someone with that level of concern for accuracy.

8 comments:

unlstu said...

What's even more awful about KETV's royal screw up with the West Dodge accident...the Associated Press noticed Channel 7 had reported a fatality so the AP took the story from 7's website and posted it in their information!!!
Wow, one would think you would get confirmation of stories before you report them!!!
Way to uphold some journalistic ethics Channel 7!!! I hope you fired whoever was in charge of that screw up...but I doubt any action was taken.

News Filter said...

Great catches. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has noticed KETV's mis-leading and inaccurate information. 7 is my personal favorite station to watch but management needs to start watching its own product. Hopefully, it will correct, and not condone these on-going mistakes.

unlstu said...

Obviously Channel 7's new website, intheO.com wasn't "in the know" with a breaking news fatality even though the website is advertised as "...the place to go for breaking news." - Rob McCartney
They dropped the ball on that one!

omatvwatcher said...

KETV loves to push the envelope on reality. I think they killed off Jason Pratt a week before he actually died. Maybe pushing the hard news angle too hard can explain their inability to capture the number one spot.

photofarm said...

I value accuracy more than being the first to report the story. Truth is the only thing a reporter has than will gain them respect in my eyes. I do understand that it is often confusing, and different stories occur at accident scenes. Giving too little information, and making sure the information you give is accurate is the most important thing.

RogerJohnson said...

unlstu...if you paid attention to promos. The one you are quoting is actually for KETV.com and was made around the time they switched from TheOmahaChannel.com....InTheO.com is a community event calendar ran by both KETV and The Reader

omatvwatcher said...

As for Frank Reynolds, that kind of person can't survive in today's corporate driven TV News world. There are too many consultants, too many forms, too much political correctness to get anything done right. Nowadays, if you have a new person in a key role who does not get the job done because they just don't cut it...that person will most likely not get fired, basically because of the threat of lawsuit. For the most part, this new environment is killing our ability as journalists to do our jobs effectively.

AvidOmahaNewsViewer said...

7 is also my favorite station in Omaha, so I really feel embarrassed when they commit such an error. Aside from these imperfections, I still have faith in KETV and believe that they have the best anchor team and the most consistent newscast in town.

WOWT, which I have dubbed "channel Sucks News," is boring and so very outdated. The fact that they are rated so high in this market makes me wonder if the typical Omaha news viewer is also a member of the LCD Lowest Common Denominator) club? Their news theme is a hand-me-down from their sister station, KAKE, in Wichita (used in the late 90's). Their graphics are inconsistent. And Jim Flowers is just unbearable to hear or see. I go into convusions like Kramer (on Seinfeld) did whenever he heard Mary Hart's voice. And Jim is just so pompous. He should have retired with Queen Persaud.

I could go on for days about WOWT, but I'll save it for future comments.

KMTV is, well, just sad. Hopefully, Journal Broadcast Group will turn KM3 into something to see in Omaha. Action 3 News is a good first step. There is hope.

KPTM: Small-market newscast caliber.

KXVO: Maybe a college tv newscast caliber. What's with that cheesy logo?

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