Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Fox 10 Producer "Thankful" for drunk driver crashing into Phoenix home

UPDATE: After media journalist Jim Romenesko picked up on the exclusive Down and Drought coverage of Fox 10 producer Juliana Vasquez's twitter meltdown, the story spread across the internet, largely being reposted by others in the news business.  The media blog TVSpy reported that Vazquez had been reprimanded by station management as a result of our story and the coverage it received from media outlets. In a statement to TVSpy regarding the Down and Drought story on Vazquez, KSAZ vice president and GM Mark Rodman stated that “This is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated.” TVSpy also reported that other sources had said that Vasquez was reprimanded by the station for her twitter posts.

Juliana Vasquez, a morning news producer at KSAZ Fox 10 Phoenix, may have been venting about the difficulty of finding content for the morning program when she tweeted that she was "thankful" that an alleged drunk driver crashed into a Phoenix home last night, but her logic in posting such a statement is questionable.  The Fox 10 producer tweeted: "Sometimes you just gotta be thankful that some drunk dude drivers [sic] into a house..no one was hurt, but I needed news #producerproblems".

The tweet was removed from Vasquez's twitter profile this afternoon after Down and Drought posted responses challenging the ethics of a news professional publicly posting such sentiment, and callously treating the real life problems of people impacted by an event as a "#producerproblem".  Fox 10's morning news coverage of the accident featured reporter Anita Roman boasting of the "first look" inside the home, describing how the van crashed mere feet away from where a resident had been sleeping.

FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com
Had the residents of the home been aware of Vasquez's excitement over the crash, would they have granted the station "first look" access into their home to video tape the destruction?  Would the 17 year old family member who told reporters that he and his family were "lucky to be alive" be "thankful" that he was able to help a news station fill two minutes of air time?  Vasquez's tweet that she "needed news" is emblematic of the troublesome "what bleeds leads" mentality of local news, and a reminder that, despite the sympathy in the voice of the reporter, it's these stories which drive the advertising revenue and keep producers needing the next big tragedy.

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