03 January 2007

Nothing like a little impartial reporting

Ryan Sanders is facing two murder counts stemming from an event on New Year's Eve. He's only made one court appearance but KTUU has already tried and convicted him, at least based on this headline on their website: "New Year's Day killer arraigned." While the story is reasonably impartial, there's nothing in that headline qualifying the fact that Sanders has not, in fact, been proven in court to be a killer.

This kind of coverage is generally typical of KTUU, I've found, intensely sympathetic to the victim and using the worst pictures of the accused to portray them in the worst light possible. It might get ratings but it sure isn't very helpful from a news perspective.

All of this is not to say that Sanders is not guilty - the evidence does seem overwhelming. But what's the point of having a "guilty until proven innocent" presumption and a court system if people can just get tried in the news media the day after their alleged crime?

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