KSL was criticized by Pierce, the TV Critic for The Salt Lake Tribune, for covering last Thursday’s high school bomb threat that turned out to be a hoax. Pierce wrote, “Just because you can go live doesn’t mean you should,” questioning the station’s decision to break into the Today Show to cover the threat.
Vea told TVSpy KSL scanner traffic told them police believed they were responding to an active shooter situation. She defended the move based on the prevalence of technology, “In an age of social media and cell phones in schools the word spread quickly about what was happening.”
She told TVSpy she thought KSL was “very restrained in the information we provided on-air and our tone was intentionally calm.” And added, “[a]s a news organization we do not make coverage decisions based on blanket guidelines such as ‘we don’t cover suicides, we don’t cover bomb threats, etc.’ We make news decisions based on the facts and information surrounding each circumstance and story.”
Pierce, and to some degree TVSpy, then became the target of her response when she questioned his motives for publishing his column and ours for not knowing the playing field. “As a former employee of our media companies, Pierce has a clear conflict of interest, as does The Tribune,” said Vea. She also pointed out Pierce, who used the RTDNA’s “Guidelines for Covering Bomb Threats” to criticize KSL, “is not a journalist, he is a columnist and as such is entitled to his opinion.” Read more