Columbia Shooting Coverage
KOMU's Sarah Hill takes a look at your comments in this week's Your View. This week, we're talking about attribution.
Attribution is telling viewers where we received our information so the audience doesn't think the reporter is just giving opinion.
Last week, local news stations used attribution a lot in talking about the deadly shooting in Columbia's Southridge subdivision.
We got an email from Mary that questioned a KOMU reporter's use of attribution. "Police have been knocking on these doors all day. They say they're trying to find information to back up what they already know that the young men taken from this house yesterday are guilty."
A viewer wrote, "Perhaps the young reporter does not remember from civics class that everyone arrested in this country is presumed innocent until proven guilty."
The reporter did use attribution "They say" referring to police. "Police have been knocking on these doors all day. They say they're trying to find information to back up what they already know that the young men taken from this house yesterday are guilty."
KOMU news director Stacey Woelfel said, "She didn't miss it but it wasn't placed that well in the story. She attributed what she was going to say about the guilt of the suspects quite a ways back in a fairly convoluted sentence while she was moving through the picture at the same time so it's easy for the viewers, like this one I think, to have lost track and for it to look like the reporter was pronouncing the suspects guilty. "
Mary, thank you for your comments.
Journalism is a complicated process and we do value all of your opinions. If you'd like to comment about KOMU News, just go to KOMU.com and click on the Your View tab. Then watch Sunday nights as we report Your View of the news. You can also comment about community issues on our Your View bulletin boards.