This past week, a reporter acting on behalf of WRGW News interviewed SA candidates Justin Diamond and SJ Matthews. The interviews were preliminarily authorized by co-news director Robert O’Shaughnessy during set-up for last week’s election night coverage. Due to the hectic nature of live news, an ethics check was not done on the reporter who conducted the interviews with both candidates. The questions used in the interviews also were not reviewed by News Department leadership before the interviews took place.
The reporter also conducted an interview on behalf of the radio station on Facebook Live; however, they had not been authorized by News Department leadership to conduct an interview on this medium. Furthermore, there is a perception that the reporter who conducted these interviews favors one candidate over the other, and let these personal feelings color the interviews. This is unacceptable to us as a news organization. Therefore, we will not be releasing the story that the reporter in question wrote.
In the interest of ensuring objectivity in both appearance and practice going forward, all interviewers acting on behalf of WRGW News will be thoroughly vetted regarding their relationships with subjects before they will be authorized to conduct such interviews. While this will negatively affect the timeliness of some stories, we believe it is necessary for maintaining the trust of our audience and remaining the objective, news-oriented organization that we strive every day to be.