YOUR VIEW: KOMU 8 responds to unfair use of testimony

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OSAGE BEACH - On September 8th, KOMU wrote a story based on an investigation report released by the Missouri Division of Fire Safety. 

The report detailed the extent of the investigation so far into a condo fire in Osage Beach, which killed four children. 

In the story by KOMU, we included testimonials gathered in the fire report, many of which concluded the father of one of the children was present at the time of the fire. 

But one testimony from the report alluded the father was not at the condo at the time of the fire. 

KOMU decided to put in the differing testimony in the report to try and show both sides of the incident. 

After we posted the story on our Facebook wall, one viewer was upset we included the differing testimony. 

She wrote, "It is a news article written by a reporter quoting the fire report. The problem being what they chose to put into the article. They chose to report someone assuming the father wasn't home, but didn't include an eyewitness account of the father climbing down the balconies. The news report is unfairly written and people are bashing the father." 

The next day after the original article was written, it was updated to try and make it a more accurate representation of the investigation report. 

But according to Annie Hammock, the interactive director at KOMU, the differing testimony was still necessary to the story. 

"We moved the conflicting report down in the story, so that it was lower to give it less emphasis," Hammock said. "We did include it because it was a contradictory account and we felt that was necessary, but we placed less emphasis on it and gave it more context." 

The news director at KOMU Randy Reeves however believes the conflicting report should not have been included in the article. 

"Not everything is news worthy, and in this case, in the bigger picture, it clearly wasn't news worthy," Reeves said. 

He believes if the reporter would have looked deeper at the report and investigated more, the conflicting testimony would not be in the article. 

"You really need to scrutinize who said what and was it thoroughly investigated; can you investigate it because we don't necessarily take everything that's in a police report or in an investigation report," Reeves said. 

We want to hear from you. Was it wrong to include the differing testimony? 

Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or email us, then watch KOMU 8 News at 6 p.m. Fridays to see our Your View segment.

 

 

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