Ms. Hindman sent the following letter to advertisers on NewsTalk! 1150 KQQQ:
March 2, 2006The "announcer" she is referring to is Bill Weed. Bill said on the air Tuesday (HT: Dale Courtney) that the morning news show has had the same format for the last 10 years. Evan Ellis gathers the news, Larry Weir reads it, and Bill asks questions and makes comments. What's the big deal? I know of several other news outlets that use the same type of format, including CNN. It's Bill and Susan Weed's station. I think they are perfectly capable of running it without Professor Hindman's "expertise". In fact, instead of just teaching and researching "media ethics", perhaps Hindman can start her own radio station and present the news in a more "professional" manner.
You are an advertiser on the morning news show on radio station KQQQ. Knowing that sometimes advertisers have more influence than single audience members, I'm writing to let you know about an incident on KQQQ this morning that I considered to be unethical and unprofessional.
During the news a story was read about Sen. Maria Cantwell sponsoring legislation to increase penalties for people who build tunnels across international borders with the intent of smuggling. The announcer said, in an exasperated tone, "That's insane." He went on to complain that we already have laws forbidding such behavior, and called Cantwell's idea "dumb." and used other editorial, biased and unnecessary language. (Ironically, this was shortly after a story on increasing penalties for child sex offenders, which apparently was not insane.)
I realize that they are the only local morning source of news we have here in Pullman (and thus you probably need the advertising venue). That frustrates me, because this is not the only time I've heard editorializing in the midst of the news. It's sad that KQQQ views its monopoly position as a soapbox, rather than a responsibility.
Elizabeth Blanks Hindman
If I hear something I don't like on the radio, it's pretty simple to change the station. There are other local news outlets, such as KMAX. And there's always Northwest Public Radio, which would probably be much more sympathetic to Senator Cantwin. I certainly would never try to deny someone their free speech rights or engage in "unethical "behavior of my own.
If you appreciate KQQQ, as I do, let's start our own mail campaign. Send your letter of support to Bill at:
NewsTalk! 1150 KQQQ
P.O. Box 1
Pullman, WA 99163