Last Thursday, I posted an article on Blog for Iowa, critical of KCRG-TV9’s coverage of a rally to protect the ACA held in Cedar Rapids. I wanted to know by what process the phrase “personal vendetta” was chosen to be used in the on-air report, when the phrase “specific issue” was used in the accompanying text, in describing Indivisible Iowa’s efforts to meet with their congressman, Rod Blum. As I said in my post,
“Indivisible Iowa is working hard to fight for good public policy in a civil manner. It is in no way appropriate to frame their efforts to meet with their congressman to share their views as constituents as a “personal vendetta.”
I couldn’t imagine how they came up with the inflammatory and inaccurate phrase “personal vendetta” so I also asked specifically if they were pressured by the Blum camp to use the phrase. Earlier in the week (Monday) I had contacted the station via email, but by Thursday, still had not received a reply. On Friday, I received KCRG’s response from Adam Caros, KCRG News Director. Here it is below.
I apologize for the late response. This went into a newsroom inbox and the person who monitors it sent it to the wrong person to respond. I saw your blog post and went looking for your email and found it. But you should have gotten a response much sooner than this.
The quick answer is that this was a poor choice of words and a misunderstanding of meaning of “personal vendetta,” The reporter was attempting to convey that Indivisible Iowa is an ongoing and outspoken critic of Rep. Blum to help put their viewpoint and statements in perspective. “Personal Vendetta” was the wrong choice of words to convey that and that has been addressed with the reporter who wrote it. But no one tells us what to report or how to report something. If Rep. Blum had described the group that way, we would have identified that as his opinion. But the Blum campaign made no comments to us about the group or this story
The web text of “a specific issue” was referring to the group’s push for a meeting with Rep. Blum, which he has repeatedly denied. The difference between that and the on-air script is because of the medium. As you noted, we specifically refer to Indivisible Iowa in the web text while the video refers to “one group” while we see the Indivisible Iowa sign. The script from on-air was re-worked since you could not see the Indivisible Iowa signs while referring to “one group” in a text article.
I know you said this was for your personal knowledge but I would appreciate if you updated your blog post to include this explanation to make clear we were not pressured by Rep. Blum or anyone else on this story or any other.
Feel free to reach out with any other questions,