Your View: Controversial Usage of "Obamaphone" Term

5 years 11 months 2 weeks 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
COLUMBIA - Former Mizzou head football coach Gary Pinkel formally announced the launch of his foundation, called “GP M.A.D.E.” Wednesday... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2019 Apr 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 9:47:00 PM CDT April 24, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The city's Airport Advisory Board met Wednesday for the first time since Columbia Regional Airport had to close... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2019 Apr 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 8:01:00 PM CDT April 24, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA- A proposed wind project in Harrisburg is now getting the local government involved. The Boone County planning and... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2019 Apr 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 7:55:00 PM CDT April 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - People gathered in downtown Jefferson City Wednesday evening to walk for Rape and Abuse Crisis Service or... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2019 Apr 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 7:48:00 PM CDT April 24, 2019 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - The Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that allows the state to sell Rice Hall,... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2019 Apr 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 7:25:00 PM CDT April 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Cancer patients could receive health insurance coverage for dental and fertility preservation procedures if two Missouri House... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2019 Apr 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 5:26:00 PM CDT April 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Police are trying to figure out what happened at a big fight near Lincoln University's... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2019 Apr 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 4:04:00 PM CDT April 24, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - People wanting to draw attention to sexual violence made more than a fashion statement by wearing denim on... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2019 Apr 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 3:45:00 PM CDT April 24, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools provided additional information Wednesday amid a legal dispute over collective bargaining with the Columbia Missouri... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2019 Apr 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 3:18:00 PM CDT April 24, 2019 in News
FULTON - The Fulton Fire Department is starting the process to carry and use Narcan, or the generic Naloxone, during... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2019 Apr 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 3:03:00 PM CDT April 24, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – The Missouri River Relief, a nonprofit organization, met with Columbia Public Schools to use their new boat, “Lucia,”... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2019 Apr 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 3:00:00 PM CDT April 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A new bill is designed to simplify the tax process by cutting the number of income tax... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2019 Apr 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 2:14:00 PM CDT April 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is seeking a major disaster declaration in response to severe flooding in... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2019 Apr 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:52:00 AM CDT April 24, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Several community members joined Columbia Police Interim Chief Geoff Jones and committee panel members Tuesday to discuss racial... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 23 2019 Apr 23, 2019 Tuesday, April 23, 2019 7:21:00 PM CDT April 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia's Building Construction Codes Commission approved reconstruction plans for the Columbia Canine Sports Center at a meeting Monday... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 23 2019 Apr 23, 2019 Tuesday, April 23, 2019 7:00:00 PM CDT April 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Missouri National Education Association (CMNEA) filed a lawsuit in Boone County alleging Columbia Public Schools violated... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 23 2019 Apr 23, 2019 Tuesday, April 23, 2019 6:58:00 PM CDT April 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Beulah Ralph Elementary School has found its new principal. According to a news release from Columbia Public... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 23 2019 Apr 23, 2019 Tuesday, April 23, 2019 6:28:00 PM CDT April 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A donation of 7.81 acres of land was given to the Columbia Parks and Recreation department by MBS... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 23 2019 Apr 23, 2019 Tuesday, April 23, 2019 6:10:00 PM CDT April 23, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 56°
2am 57°
3am 56°
4am 56°
5am 55°