In a recent column, the managing editor of the Mankato Free Press wrestled with whether the newspaper appropriately covered the tribulations of KEYC anchor Annie Stensrud, following her erratic behavior during a newscast in early December.
After video of Stensrud’s seemingly drunk delivery went viral and made her the butt of jokes on “Late Show with David Letterman,” she was arrested and charged for drunk driving. The Free Press covered all of these developments.
“We had a healthy debate on this in our newsroom,” Free Press editor Joe Spear wrote. “Some argued we shouldn’t really be hiding this event because, after all, alcohol abuse was, and probably still is, a huge issue in this town. Others argued we don’t cover every DWI in this way.”
“Ultimately, I believe a local TV anchor is enough of a public figure to warrant coverage on some of their ‘private actions,’” Spear concluded. “If I were to get a DWI, it would be reported in this newspaper.”