Best Reasons to Go Back to Journalism School

Channel 2's politically-driven promos / Channel 6 uses student's video for story

Staff Pick

Boise Weekly played media watchdog not once but twice this spring. In March, BW reported on a pair of 30-second news promos airing on KBOI Channel 2 that crossed journalistic lines by openly advocating for small government and deriding "outsiders" for trying to "impose their will" to fix Idaho health care. After our report, KBOI-TV Vice President and General Manager Don Pratt sent an internal memo instructing staffers not be "distracted by this [BW's story]," but informing them the promos would be rewritten because "the tone and phrasing of our new campaign needed adjustment." Then in May, another local TV station ran afoul of news ethics, when it lifted student footage of a Boise State University campus altercation and aired it without attribution. KIVI Channel 6 ran with the story about a tussle between anti-gay fundamentalist preacher "Brother"Jed Smock and a Boise State student, using video taken by 31-year-old student Farzan Faramarzi--a journalist, human rights' activist and incoming BW intern--without his approval and without crediting him. Though legal, Boise State Communications professor and Arbiter student newspaper adviser Seth Ashley called it "lazy and unethical journalism."

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