Your View: Controversial Usage of "Obamaphone" Term

7 years 1 month 2 hours 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 (The Kansas City Star) — An attorney is defending a Missouri woman who withdrew from the University of... More >>
4 minutes ago Saturday, June 06 2020 Jun 6, 2020 Saturday, June 06, 2020 4:54:26 PM CDT June 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia residents marched Saturday in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The president... More >>
33 minutes ago Saturday, June 06 2020 Jun 6, 2020 Saturday, June 06, 2020 4:26:00 PM CDT June 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - MU employees and Missouri union workers marched through MU's campus on Saturday to deliver their list of demands... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, June 06 2020 Jun 6, 2020 Saturday, June 06, 2020 2:49:00 PM CDT June 06, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts in the community. ... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, June 06 2020 Jun 6, 2020 Saturday, June 06, 2020 2:16:00 PM CDT June 06, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden formally clinched the Democratic presidential nomination Friday, setting him up for a bruising challenge to... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, June 05 2020 Jun 5, 2020 Friday, June 05, 2020 9:45:00 PM CDT June 05, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - This week KOMU 8 will air a longform discussion among local law enforcement leaders, a community activist and... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, June 05 2020 Jun 5, 2020 Friday, June 05, 2020 9:16:00 PM CDT June 05, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Stephanie Browning, director of Columbia and Boone County's Public Health and Human Services, wrote a letter to the... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, June 05 2020 Jun 5, 2020 Friday, June 05, 2020 9:02:00 PM CDT June 05, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – About 20 people gathered in front of the Jefferson City Police Department on Friday to fight racial... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, June 05 2020 Jun 5, 2020 Friday, June 05, 2020 8:40:00 PM CDT June 05, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —The Boone County Fair has been canceled for the 2020 season, according to a news release from the... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, June 05 2020 Jun 5, 2020 Friday, June 05, 2020 8:17:23 PM CDT June 05, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - For protesters across the country, social distancing isn't what's on their mind when they protest. It's George... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, June 05 2020 Jun 5, 2020 Friday, June 05, 2020 7:01:00 PM CDT June 05, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Ty Gramley, of Columbia, was sentenced to 5 years in prison after pleading guilty to possession of child... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, June 05 2020 Jun 5, 2020 Friday, June 05, 2020 6:13:05 PM CDT June 05, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — A new law in Missouri expands absentee voting excuses and allows mail-in voting until December 2020 due to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 05 2020 Jun 5, 2020 Friday, June 05, 2020 2:11:00 PM CDT June 05, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 05 2020 Jun 5, 2020 Friday, June 05, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT June 05, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A Maries County woman was sentenced to 14 years in prison for a deadly fire Friday, but could... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 05 2020 Jun 5, 2020 Friday, June 05, 2020 1:44:28 PM CDT June 05, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts in the community. You... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 05 2020 Jun 5, 2020 Friday, June 05, 2020 10:43:00 AM CDT June 05, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia's Lunch in the Park program is back to serve children 18 or younger free, nutritious meals during... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 05 2020 Jun 5, 2020 Friday, June 05, 2020 9:55:00 AM CDT June 05, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- Medical professionals stood silently on the University of Missouri campus to fight racism Thursday evening. The group stood,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 05 2020 Jun 5, 2020 Friday, June 05, 2020 9:38:00 AM CDT June 05, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its May jobs report Friday morning, and national unemployment declined to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 05 2020 Jun 5, 2020 Friday, June 05, 2020 4:33:00 AM CDT June 05, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 90°
5pm 91°
6pm 90°
7pm 89°
8pm 86°