YOUR VIEW - Viewers Question Investigation of IBM

2 years ago February 27, 2013 Feb 27, 2013 Wednesday, February 27 2013 Wednesday, February 27, 2013 12:14:09 PM CST in Your View
By: Madison Alewel and Christine Wendel

COLUMBIA - Earlier this month, KOMU 8 News aired a Target 8 story investigating IBM's refusal to talk about the number of jobs it has created since coming to Columbia in 2010. IBM originally promised to create 800 jobs by the end of 2012. KOMU later learned the company signed a contract with the state to hire 600 people by the end of 2015. The state offered IBM $28 million in tax credits and job training funds as incentive to create jobs, but the company refuses to release how many jobs it has actually created.

Several viewers left comments on KOMU.com, saying the story was not newsworthy. In this week's Your View, we look at what makes a story worth covering.

KOMU 8 news director Stacey Woelfel said a number of factors determine whether he thinks a story is newsworthy or not. "I want to know if it is important, if it affects a lot of people, whether it is local, whether it is new, whether there is conflict and whether people will care about it," said Woelfel. 

Woelfel said the IBM story involves many of those factors. "It's something people should care about because the state is handing over millions of tax dollars to a private company, yet that private company won't reveal how many people it's hiring with that money," said Woelfel. 

Several of the viewers who commented on the story mentioned the community should be happy or grateful the company chose to come to Columbia.  Many said the final number of jobs IBM creates doesn't matter. One viewer specifically mentioned the story might have aimed to make IBM look bad. "It is a complex agreement that the state has with IBM," said Woelfel. "We wanted to make sure we had enough detail in the story to explain what had changed in the agreement over the years it had been in place."

So do you think the story was newsworthy? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. Then watch Friday nights at 6 as we report "Your View" of the news.

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