Tuesday, January 29, 2008

TV promo too much?

Our newsroom is trying to grade itself .. specifically, the approach we've taken to promoting Tom Meyer's investigative story that airs this Thursday at 11 on Channel 3 News.

Click here to view it. When you're done, I'd love some honest feedback.

I had no part in this whatsoever .. still, I'm weighing in like everyone else ... and I'll tell you that you can believe the hype on this one: Tom has done an excellent job with this horrific story and he'll have many people absolutely outraged. His report is that good, but it's also that upsetting.

Next week, I have a story that deals with a different-but-just-as-serious subject, and I wonder what's the best way to promote a story like that without going over the top or offending viewers.

Thanks in advance .. Eric

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The audio makes it sound like the cops have already been judged guilty.
We don't know anything about this women. Is she mentally ill, intoxicated or just out of control?
Guess we'll have to see the video.

Christina D said...

This is why I love PBS! I would NEVER want my children to hear this. They would be horrified. I hope this is not running before 9 p.m.

ScarletArrow said...

If you have to ask the question, then you already know the answer.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to look at this from both sides...

I will say that the video makes it appear as though (as has been posted before me and will probably continue to be posted until the story airs) the Police are somehow torturing "someone"...

HOWEVER...

If the Police are doing something they're not supposed to be doing, I want to know about it...that goes without being said.

As for whether the promo is "too much"? I honestly don't think so. I'd rather get the real story without a lot of "fluff".

Eric Mansfield said...

thanks for these first few responses .. keep em coming ..

Christina, I don't think the promo is airing before 9 p.m., but I'm not 100 percent sure on that ... it's a good point considering kids are around ...

From what I know of the video, if we showed part of it in a promo, it would be taken out context because there's more to it than can be shown in a :30 promo ...

Still .. the last thing we want to do is have folks think we're like another "sensational" station in town .. to which some have already compared us.

Again, not my story and not my promo .. but as our newsroom turns the microscope on ourselves, we wonder if we went too far.

Try to remember how you feel now .. and then compare it to the actual story, which may give some nightmares ...

Eric

Anonymous said...

I think the media tends to portray police officers in a negative light much more often than they do in a positive light, much like you've commented in the past that more negative reports about the troops' efforts in Iraq are seen than positive reports about what has been accomplished.
True, if an officer is carrying out his/her duties in an improper manner, then it should be reported. However having said that, I think the public is very critical of officers' actions when:
1) they aren't given all of the facts of the situation or what the officer knew at the time of the incident (which I know can't be done in a 30 min. news format typically) and
2) people can play armchair quarterback afterwards, but the split second decisions an officer needs to make sometimes are extremely tough and sometimes have life or death choices for both the officer and others.
Of course I don't know the details of this story, but I do not like the promo for it and I would be upset if my kids heard it. Like someone else said, it does sound like the officers have already been convicted in the station's eyes (and therefore soon the public's eyes) and I would agree that it has leaned too far over into sensationalism.
Thanks for looking for feedback on this.

Cindy said...

As the wife of a police officer I certainly hope this story pans out to be worth the promo the station is running. I certainly hope your station has taken the time and effort it has put into creating this promo intended to shock viewers and speculate on police conduct to present whatever this story is in the correct context with all of the facts. If there has been wrongdoing on an officer's part then of course it is right to report on it. If this is not the case then shame on you and your station for perpetuating negative publicity for men and women who work to protect and serve you and the community you live in.