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”.