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FBN’s FOIA Fight: “Not A Wild Publicity Stunt”

asman_2-26.bmpColumbia Journalism Review’s Clint Hendler writes about the FBN Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits, of which they have recently seen the first steps toward a victory.

“It’s for you folks, we are doing it for you,” said anchor David Asman in announcing the judge’s ruling on-air. “We are your eyes. We’re looking out for you, literally.”

FBN EVP Kevin Magee tells the CJR the lawsuits are “not a wild publicity stunt.” Instead: “We are trying to differentiate ourselves from that which is out there. One of the ways that we want to differentiate ourselves is to tell our audience that we are trying to protect their interests. We think that’s a wide-open field. CNBC seems to always be the friend of the CEO and that’s fine, nothing wrong with that…But we also believe that as journalists, we have to ask difficult questions.”

Related: FBN’s Sandra Smith was profiled in her hometown paper, The Wheaton Sun (IL). “People that have been victims of fraud and maybe lost their nest egg are devastated, and you realize there are these really sensitive subjects,” she said. “Getting the real story involves somewhat of a balancing act. You have to show the person you care about them and that this isn’t just about fulfilling someone else’s agenda.”

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