KOLR10 Insider: Do We Only Report on Pit Bull Attacks?

News

If you watched last Tuesday night you saw our first installment of the KOLR10 Insider. Our goal is to answer your questions, comments, and concerns about anything you see on KOLR10 news.

We want to begin this segment with a story we shared online and on the air Tuesday.

It comes from our news partner in Northwest Arkansas. The story centers around a pit bull attack that left a boy in the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The story garnered dozens of comments by our followers.

He’s a clip of the broadcast portion we aired on our news at 5 pm.

In response, we received a Facebook message from someone who said

“I don’t appreciate how you only specify pitbull breeds but no other dog breeds in other attacks.   That makes all of them look bad.  Why do you do what you do?”


This is a sensitive subject for a lot of people.

I checked our archives for other dog attack stories in recent years to see if we disclosed the breeds.

I found one dog attack from Cape Girardeau last month that resulted in the death of a child. Authorities called the dog a mixed breed and that’s what we reported.  

It turned out to be a pit bull mix.

I also looked at our coverage of the death of an 85-year-old Rogersville man back in 2015 who was attacked by two dogs.  

In our coverage, we said the breeds involved were a mastiff and bloodhound.

We don’t only name pit bulls in dog attack coverage. We also don’t control which types of dogs attack and we rely on authorities to give us accurate information on the types of dogs involved.

 And we accurately report that information to you.

We had a couple other viewer messages this week that touch on similar tones.

Brian Spurlock wrote asking…

Do your corporate overlords make your anchors read propaganda?  Seriously do you have must do segments or scripts?


Michael Scriven wrote to me saying…

“I’ve really been concerned about people discrediting media reports based on the own person’s bias.   How can we steer away from listening to a news story for a narrative and steer toward seeking the sources for that story?”

Everyday news managers, producers, reporters, photographers and we the anchors, meet for about 45 minutes to discuss the day’s coverage plans and talk about news criteria and ethical questions that come up.

So first, our corporate officers don’t dictate any scripting or coverage that you see here on our newscasts.  Decisions are made locally in the meeting.

Scripts are written by local producers and by local reporters, just like me, in our newsroom.

As for how to look beyond bias and discern real news from opinion news we did a series of reports — a Courageous Conversation — on that very topic back in November last year. 

And those stories are posted on our website.   

Have a question you wish to see featured on KOLR10 Insider? Send David an email doliver@kolr10.com

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