Anchorage TV station cancels 2 newscasts for ethics discussions

Posted: Friday, November 12, 2010

ANCHORAGE - A TV station took the unusual step of canceling its evening newscasts Wednesday so the staff could discuss ethics after the flap over a voicemail two producers accidentally left for a GOP Senate candidate's spokesman.

The Oct. 28 recorded message by the KTVA producers involved possible scenarios for covering a rally for Republican Joe Miller, who had been endorsed by Sarah Palin.

Miller's camp says producers were discussing making up stories about the candidate. Palin said the recording showed media bias.

Station general manager Jerry Bever wrote on the KTVA website that Wednesday's 5 and 6 p.m. broadcasts were canceled for the internal discussion.

The station instead aired reruns of "The New Adventures of Old Christine," the Anchorage Daily News reported Thursday.

The two producers involved in the recording are no longer with the station, a CBS affiliate.

"Events over the last week and a half have been challenging for our station," Bever wrote. "As the result of a conversation within our newsroom that was accidentally recorded and released to the public, our newsroom credibility has been called into question, and the public's trust in us has been tested.

"Our job as journalists carries a far greater responsibility than that of media personalities and pundits," Bever wrote. "We havebeen given the public's trust ... now we must keep it."

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