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Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Basch’

Journalistic Faux Pas or Just Lacking Class?

Washington D.C.’s CBS all-news radio station, WNEW News (99.1 FM), appears to be lacking in social graces today as they tweeted out the names of a murder-suicide in Calvert County before next of kin were alerted. They reported on their website only that a man, woman and 2-year-old child were all found dead inside a home in Owings, Md., but left them unnamed.

The offending tweet can be found here. It reads as follows: “WNEWNews: Couple In Owings Murder-Suicide Have Been Identified By Neighbor As…”

We reached out to WNEW’s News Director Michelle Dolge for comment on obtaining the information from a neighbor and releasing it before police. So far, zilch.

WTOP GM Jim Farley explained that their reporter on the scene, Michelle Basch, was waiting for family to be informed before they reported the names. “Flunking Journalism 101: you don’t ID the victims until the Sheriff notifies the next of kin, which they had not done at that point,” he wrote to FishbowlDC. “Common courtesy. How’d you like to find a close relative had been murdered by reading it in a tweet?”

At the very least WNEW offended traditional reporting rules. “Typically the onus is on official authorities, not media, to notify next of kin before releasing the names of the deceased,” explained a local City Hall reporter speaking on condition of anonymity. “If the government agency released names to the media without prior notification , that would be a mistake of the agency, not the media.”

Then again, WNEW acquired the information from a neighbor. “Now if the media outlet got the name through nonofficial police sources and reported it, then that would be rather tacky, to say the least,” the reporter added.

 

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WTOP Reels in Slew of Awards

WTOP received five awards over the weekend by the Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters, including the best website award for wtop.com.  During a Saturday luncheon, the station received four top level awards in the Superior class and one Meritorious Award.

WTOP’s National Security Correspondent J.J. Green was honored with the Douglas Southall Freeman Award for Public Service through Journalism for his series titled “Dignity Denied.”  Political Analyst Mark Plotkin was recognized for his editorial work with the “Mark Plotkin Commentary.”  Reporter Brennan Haselton was awarded best in the Feature/Human Interest category for “Whiskey! Huzzah!” and Michelle Basch in the same category for “Jailhouse Rock!.”

Jim Farley, V.P. of News and Programming, said in a release: “The entire newsroom works incredibly hard and they work amazingly well together.  It’s great to see them get the recognition from their peers.”