TVNewser Show TVNewser LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook GalleyCat MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

Investigative Reporting

Appeals Court Backs Former Milwaukee Reporter in Defamation Lawsuit

wtmj_304Former WTMJ reporter John Mercure, along with WTMJ and its parent company Journal Broadcasting have been cleared of defamation by a Wisconsin appeals court.

The suit sprung from Mercure’s investigation into a local wedding videographer named Angela Terry who was accused of not fulfilling her promise of delivering completed videos to the couples who paid for her service within the promised 1o-12 weeks.

The investigation from the Milwaukee NBC affiliate reporter included a scuffle between the reporter and the defendant caught on camera, claims by Mercure that the defendant was “facing criminal charges” and Mercure calling Terry a “scammer” and a “cheat.”

The Wisconsin Bar Association has the court’s ruling:

In Terry v. Mercure et al., 2012AP1682 (Oct. 15, 2013), a three-judge panel for the District I Court of Appeals affirmed, concluding that that all alleged defamatory statements in question were either opinions are substantially true.

Defamation requires a false statement to be communicated in speech, conduct, or writing to a third-person, and the communication must harm the subject’s reputation. Read more

Detroit Reporter Shows Sometimes It Takes 12 Years to Get ‘Story of the Decade’

During last night’s 11:00 p.m. news on Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV, investigative reporter Kevin Dietz aired an open letter to Kwame Kilpatrick, the former Detroit mayor who was sentenced today to 28 years in prison for corruption.

On the surface, the letter plays out as the long saga of a corrupt politician who finally fell after his years of denials were countered by dogged investigation. But if you look deeper, you’ll see two things that seem to be disappearing in this era of shrinking newsrooms, the importance of reporting on politics and the luxury of time to tell the story.

“I am very lucky to work for a station that did not lose interest in what started out as a political story,” Dietz told TVSpy. “I was able to stay on the Kilpatrick story for 12 years. The station was willing to invest the time and money to give me the opportunity to become invested in the story.  It turned out to be our story of the decade.”

Dietz, who has worked at WDIV since 1993 added, “I was born and raised in Detroit and this is the only town I ever wanted to work in. I think you may go harder and dig deeper when you work in your hometown.”

Dietz won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for his ongoing coverage of Kilpatrick.

KYW Adds Investigative Reporter

Charlotte Huffman will join Philadelphia CBS owned station KYW as an investigative reporter.

Huffman announced the move on her twitter page,

Huffman joins KYW from WNCN in Raleigh-Durham, NC where she had been a reporter since 2010. Before working at WNCN, she worked at KETK in Tyler, TX.

WIVB Adds Pulitzer Prize Winning Investigative Journalist

WIVB has announced the addition of Rose Ciotta to its investigative unit.

“Rose has a reputation for tenacity, and the natural curiosity that is in the DNA of every great investigative journalist,” WIVB news director Joe Schlaerth said in a statement. ” She understands what is important to Western New Yorkers and will bring those sensibilities to News 4 Investigates.”

The Buffalo CBS affiliate said Ciotta will lead the station’s investigative team “in its multiscreen reporting efforts, which include on-air, interactive features and online special sections.”

Ciotta comes to WIVB from the Philadelphia Inquirer where she was part of an investigate team that won a 2012 Pulitzer Prize. She starts Monday, August 5.

WMAQ to Expand Investigative Reporting Team

WMAQ, the NBC owned station in Chicago, has announced a major expansion of its investigative reporting team.

The station will add Chris Coffey, who will join WMAQ from another NBC owned station, WVIT in Hartford, in August. Two current WMAQ staffers — reporter Phil Rogers and producer Courtney Copenhagen — will transition from their current roles to be dedicated full time to the investigative reporting team. Two more hires are expected to be announced soon, according to WMAQ.

Coffey, Rogers and Copenhagen will join the current team: Carol Marin, Rob Stafford, Lisa Parker, Phil Rogers, Marion Brooks and Dick Johnson, along with several producers and photographers

“We are committed to investigative journalism and want to complement our already strong investigative team with a major infusion of resources,” WMAQ president and general manager David Doebler said in a statement. “With this additional dedicated staff, we will be able to provide our viewers with even more stories and in-depth investigations on a daily basis.”

Scott MacFarlane Joins WRC

Reporter Scott MacFarlane is joining WRC, the NBC owned station in Washington, D.C., vice president of news Mike Goldrick announced today.

“For the past eight years, Scott has been a Washington Bureau reporter for the COX stations, focusing on investigative stories impacting the markets where COX has stations.  He understands enterprise reporting and the importance of digging for stories,” Goldrick wrote in a memo to WRC staffers.

Before joining Cox, MacFarlane was a reporter at WOIO in Cleveland, WWJ in Detroit and WTVH in Syracuse.

Mari Payton Named Lead Investigative Reporter at KNSD

KNSD, the NBC-owned station in San Diego, will dedicate two additional full-time staffers to its investigative reporting unit. Mari Payton (pictured) will be the station’s lead investigative reporter and Wendy Fry will be the investigative producer.

Payton currently works on investigative pieces part-time in addition to her midday anchor duties and Fry currently works on the assignment desk. Payton will will be replaced on the 11 a.m. newscast by Christine Haas, who will be the midday anchor in addition to the 4 and 5 p.m. anchor.

“We expect this shift in duties for both Mari and Wendy to be a game-changer for the I-Team’s work and look forward to the positive impact they will make in the San Diego community,” KNSD vice president of news Greg Dawson.

WHDH Takes an Undercover Look at Medical Marijuana Certifications

An undercover WHDH producer was certified to grow and posses medical marijuana at two Massachusetts clinics after showing doctors the x-rays of a dog (video above).

Massachusetts law permits doctors to give a marijuana certification to possess and grow a 60 day supply “after a full assessment” of the “patients medical history” they think the “benefits would outweigh the health risks,” according to WHDH. The producer went to three clinics with just the x-rays — which were of a yellow Labrador’s elbow — and no detailed medical records. She was able to obtain a certification at two of the three health clinics.

“He asked me a couple of questions, but he didn’t do even a basic exam. No heart rate, no blood pressure, he didn’t examine my elbow. The whole thing took seven minutes,” the producer said of one clinic.

WGCL’s Jeff Chirico Gets Punched in the Face While Investigating a Story

WGCL investigative reporter Jeff Chirico was punched in the chin and knocked to the ground while reporting a piece for the Atlanta CBS affiliate.

Chirico’s was investigating Richard Wilder, who reportedly began operating a business in Gainesville just weeks after he was charged with seven counts of theft by deception and once count of racketeering. While reporting the story, Donald Wilder, presumed to be Richard’s father, approached Chirico and threatened him, punching him in the face and knocking him to the ground.

WGCL says Chirico was not seriously injured. His full report airs tonight on WGCL’s 11 p.m. newscast.

WTVJ Partners With Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

WTVJ, the NBC-owned station in Miami, has announced a partnership with the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

“Since we launched the Team 6 Investigators unit last year, they have been busy enterprising stories and shining a spotlight on issues that affect South Florida,” WTVJ GM Manuel Martinez said in a statement. “This new partnership with Florida Center for Investigative Reporting will complement our efforts and strengthen our ability to focus attention on more diverse investigations that are important to our viewers and the community we serve.”

“We’re thrilled about the partnership with NBC 6 South Florida as it enhances our accountability reporting mission,” FCIR president of the board Sharon Rosenhause said. “… This relationship is truly an opportunity for us to help produce more public service journalism and to expand our reach across Florida with two of the state’s important journalism organizations — NBC 6 and its Telemundo sister station.”

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>