The ‘best’ and ‘worst’ of KTVI Tim Horton’s coverage

TRIPP FROHLICHSTEIN / St. Louis television viewers watching KTVI Channel 2 were recently given two sharply different versions of the opening of the area’s first full-sized Tim Horton’s in the St. Louis suburb of Maplewood. Covering the opening of the first location of the chain is appropriate, but in terms of good journalism, Channel 2 provided “the best of times” and the “worst of times” with its coverage. Horton’s is a Canadian chain that sells coffee and pastries and other food items. Staking a St. Louis area foothold with its first store at 7468 Manchester Road in Maplewood was a legitimate news story. On the night of June 22, during the 9 p.m. newscast, Channel 2 anchor Mandy Murphey did a solid story on the event. But a day later, Channel 2’s Lisa Hart offered what seemed to be a commercial for Horton’s during the 11 a.m. newscast.

St. Louis media notes

TRIPP FROHLICHSTEIN / St. Louis TV stations need to be more honest with their viewers. Frequently, they present stories as new that are actually a day or more old. The latest example occurred on KSDK (Channel 5) at noon on June 18. The story was about an incident the day before when two planes began taking off at the same time at Midway Airport in Chicago. Fortunately, a collision was averted. But anchor Kay Quinn read, “We have new information at this noon hour about just how serious a near disaster this was.” However, she provided no information that hadn’t aired on the news the night before. Nor did she give any indication as to “how serious it was.” She did not even tell viewers how close of a call it was (or wasn’t). Repeating the story is not the problem. The problem comes when viewers are deceived by “sensationalistic” and inaccurate writing.