Your View: Controversial Usage of "Obamaphone" Term

5 years 2 weeks 4 days ago Tuesday, May 07 2013 May 7, 2013 Tuesday, May 07, 2013 11:34:00 AM CDT May 07, 2013 in News
By: Brian Bondus and Ari Alexander
loading

COLUMBIA - On Monday April 29th at six o'clock KOMU aired a story about abuse of a government program that gives low-income people access to free cell phones.

The program is called Lifeline cell phone, but at one point in the story we referenced the program as the "Obamaphone," and a viewer said we were biased.

Betty Blake wrote on our Facebook page, "I can NOT believe what I am hearing on your "news" cast! OBAMAPHONE? Could you possibly have a more biased story? You use false, inflammatory language and report the unverified story if ONE person as fact... What happened to teaching your students to research, write, and report FACTS without bias?
Disgusted."

KOMU 8's news director Stacey Woelfel defends the decision to use the term. "We use slang terms in newscast all the time because we want to write the way people talk and we want to be able to refer to thing as people refer to them. As example I give is we call it the arch in St. Louis. That's not its name. Its called the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, but who calls it that?"

The story explains the program was started and has been around since the Reagan administration. But the term "Obamaphone" is new.

Our anchor Brittany Pieper decided to remove the word from a script of the ten o'clock show.

"There are certain slang terms that are part of culture now that don't have a lot of emotion tied to them and in that case you'll use that because they are more conversational, but for those slang terms that carry a lot of emotional weight behind them it is important for us to to be careful how someone may perceive it as bias even if that's not how we want it to come off," said Pieper. 

Woelfel said the context around the term made it ok for T.V.

"If it was the only term we ever used for it I think that would be a problem, but in the story we explained it pretty clearly."

Woelfel also noted that "Obamacare" began as a derogatory term to describe the Affordable Care Act. The President now embraces the term and says he likes that his name is associated with the legislation.

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The ACLU of Missouri is suing the Independence School District on behalf of a senior... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 6:35:52 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD – Locals living in this town of about 700 people are concerned after abruptly hearing about a special... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 5:47:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Thornbrook neighborhood was without water and electricity for almost two hours on Friday. Columbia Water and... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 5:36:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY – Four vehicle crashes have occurred this week along State Road F west of Fulton in Callaway County.... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 4:12:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – After serving eight years in the United States Air Force, the passion of this veteran for sky travel... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 3:50:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - In another day of political theater, the special House committee investigating Governor Eric Greitens heard new testimony... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 3:15:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Organizers are expecting a large turnout for the 30th annual "Salute to Veterans" airshow on Memorial Day weekend. ... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- When most people lose an animal, one of the first steps is to put a "missing" sign on a... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:46:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Aircraft and pilots met at Columbia Regional Airport Friday to prepare for the 30th annual "Salute to Veterans"... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:45:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - A high-speed car chase ended Sunday when the suspect slid into a ditch, according to a press release... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:30:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- It's no secret more cars will out for Memorial Day weekend, but many drivers are taking precautions before... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:16:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - More than five hundred Missourians have lost their hunting, fishing and trapping licenses after a Department of... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 1:48:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
HARRISONVILLE (AP) — Authorities say a 12-year-old western Missouri boy fought off an attempted abduction by hitting the... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 8:53:00 AM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating an early morning crash on I-70 Westbound. It caused major backups... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 8:47:00 AM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - On Thursday, the Columbia Airport Advisory Board announced the TSA approved a security screening lane to open by... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 11:41:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- May is known for Mother’s day, Memorial Day and in Missouri, the start of tick season. “May, June... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 8:21:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council discussed a recent engineering study today centering on increasing traffic flow east of Columbia.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 7:11:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is encouraging people to practice safe boating ahead of Memorial Day weekend.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 6:55:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 79°
8pm 79°
9pm 75°
10pm 74°
11pm 73°