Between You and Me, There's PR

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KSDK security stunt cost station their credibility January 17, 2014

Filed under: Education — thisgirlsarah @ 8:31 PM
Tags: , , , , , ,

Parts of the below copy have been re-blogged from my second blog: She Writes, Sometimes with more emphasis on the PR repercussions here, rather than the full background of the story

Yesterday, when a local St. Louis station, KSDK, attempted to test a high school’s security, a lockdown resulted making the community very upset.The news station released a statement that said this was not their intention, while the school’s statement said they were just following protocol for a stranger who seemed suspicious. While KSDK did not mention anything about the lockdown on their Twitter feed as it was happening, their competitors and viewers certainly did.


People were upset, and rightly so in my opinion. The kids, parents and teachers don’t need to experience, what they perceive to be, a real threat to their loved ones.The most tragic part of this is that KSDK lost their credibility. Today, in Hillsboro MO, a real lockdown took place and this time, KSDK reported it. Guess what their viewers had to say about this scary and very real situation:


From this situation, we did learn that Kirkwood needs to have a look at tightening their security, but I do not agree with the news station’s tactics and I do not believe that it is the responsibility of a reporter or news station to create a story to report. Instead of exploiting a major security issue at local schools, they have become a joke to the community. There is a fine line between reporting an issue, and creating an issue to report on.

I didn’t become a journalist for a reason. I have always found journalists’ ruthlessness to get a story rude. I have too much empathy for people involved in tragic situations to have the guts to stick a microphone or camera in their faces just for a quote. On the flipside of this, someone has to get dirty and report the news, I just wish they’d do it with a little more conscience and empathy.

At what point do they look back on this and say, “whoops, we’re sorry we approached it in this way” instead of “whoops, sorry we’re not sorry.” Until they acknowledge that, I don’t think their credibility will hold as true as it once did.

Is this what reporters do to get stories? What do you think?

To be fair, as we part, here’s the story KSDK ran as a result of their “tests”.


2 Responses to “KSDK security stunt cost station their credibility”

  1. […] For more on this story and the PR reprecussions it resulted in, visit Between You and Me, There’s PR. […]

  2. Mike Says:

    I absolutely agree………. reporters should not BE the story and they did extensive damage to their credibility. Although I don’t personally like the style, this type of “gotcha journalism” is used to boost ratings in the name of exposing government waste, fraud and other shady business practices BUT……… people, we’ve got to draw a line somewhere and let’s start with our children!!! No ratings boost is worth the trauma this stunt caused to the children, parents and our community! I don’t watch KSDK news anymore. (Yes, Kirkwood needs to improve security but this is NOT the appropriate way to get it done)

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