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Your View: Fair and Balanced Journalism

Posted: Oct 11, 2011 6:13 PM by Emily Spain, Anqi Du
Updated: Oct 11, 2011 7:15 PM

Rating: 0.0 (0 votes)

Everyday at KOMU 8 we strive to produce fair and balanced stories for our viewers, but sometimes viewers complain we don't. For months, KOMU 8 has been following the allegations against Centralia Police Chief Larry Dudgeon. And after a recent City Council meeting reporter Jessica Smith followed up with reactions from local residents.

But her story didn't sit well with everyone. Marilyn dick sent us this comment:

"Shame. On. You...She never attempted to question me on my views of our department of the chief.. you know this was a "fluff" segment which may do great harm to our city employee, for which I am greatly disgruntled...There are many, many of us Centralia residents who do support and appreciate Chief Dudgeon."

Smith says she did talk to both sides, but found it harder to get someone to defend Chief Dudgeons on camera.

"I found a lot of people who were speaking out against, but I also spoke with two people that were in favor of the chief and I was on a deadline so after a certain point, after I made sure I talked to both sides I had to come back to the station," Smith said.

"Unfortunately again, when it's a controversial story sometimes people on the other side aren't as willing to go on camera," said KOMU 8 Managing Editor Elizabeth Willis Frogge.

So why do our reporters insist on having people voice their opinions in front of the lens?

"I think it gives more credibility to our sources because you can hear me saying something, but unless it's coming from the actual person it's not going to mean as much," Smith said.

Most reporters only have one day to put a story together, but some stories end up needing more attention.

"And usually when those stories are being reported on, we usual don't just do one story, we do multiple stories," Frogge said. "So, I think definitely this woman raises some questions and there needs to be some follow-ups."

So what do you think? Did KOMU give the Centralia Chief story a fair shake?

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