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SHOW DATE: JULY 31, 2013
One of the golden rules in journalism is check your facts—even in a time-sensitive, cut-throat environment like a news station. KTVU news anchor Tori Campbell found out the hard way that blindly relying on a source’s information can lead to disaster.
Reporting on the July 6th Asiana crash, Campbell read out these purportedly confirmed names of the pilots aboard the Asiana flight: Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow. And this was after confirming them with an intern at the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington. The intern was fired, and so were three KTVU producers, but our Fire of the Week award goes to Miss Campbell.
You would think that Campbell, an Emmy award-winning anchor, would be more in-tune with what’s going on, especially in a high-pressure environment where deadlines roll around every corner. Not only did Campbell clearly enunciate these names with a straight face, she failed to do a double take before, during or right after her reading. Simply looking at these names (come on, who wouldn’t raise an eyebrow or two at “Ho Lee Fuk”?) should trigger a journalistic instinct to recheck the “facts.”
Campbell’s complacency and her inability to act on her feet grants her this week’s Fire.
By Aleksandr Smechov