Atlanta's WXIA-TV, known as Channel 11 Alive, has the following motto for its daily news broadcasts: HOLDING THE POWERFUL ACCOUNTABLE. And, speaking as a long-term media person myself, generally 11 Alive does a creditable job of upholding that motto -- except where their own self-interest is involved - then the slogan goes out the window.
The most recent instance of this "double standard" is a lengthy infomercial for some home security service which they repeatedly slip into their six p.m. news broadcast as an interview by 11 Alive news staff of the purveyor of the security service, with only a mini-type faint-font disclosure on the screen that this is actually a commercial, not a news story. If the intent is to deceive, then 11 Alive has clearly succeeded. But if the intent is to clearly differentiate and separate real news from paid ads, then at that 11 Alive is a miserable failure.
When that failure was called to the attention of their news director and supervisory staff at TEGMA, the umbrella firm for WXIA-TV, they all seem to have forgotten how to respond to viewer concerns, or how to use the computer. It would seem that 11 Alive prefers to hold others whom they consider powerful accountable, but not themselves. There are names for that type of double-standard: hypocrisy, for starters. WXIA-TV can and should do better -- they should vow for 2016 to avoid such deceptive advertising practices, and, indeed, to hold themselves to the same high standards they apply to others. We viewers, and journalism professionals, will indeed be watching, and writing, in order to hold 11 Alive accountable to its public!
Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)