UPDATE II: Little Rock Police are clearly feeling the heat on the progress of their investigation. This afternoon, they released a statement. Arkansas Business media writer Mark Hengel reports:
The LRPD said it has received assistance from multiple law enforcement departments – both state and national – and remains in contact with others, according to the release.
“I recognize that the lack of daily disclosures or additional information is frustrating to the media and to members of our community,” Stuart Thomas, LRPD chief of police, said in the news release. “However, the foremost objective here is for a successful investigation leading to an arrest and conviction in this matter and the Department will conduct any releases of information with this objective solely on point.”
Thomas then asked that all complaints be directed at him.
“Any complaints or criticism concerning the Department’s efforts or the lack of public releases of information should be addressed solely to me and not to the police officers and detectives who are working diligently on behalf of our citizens,” according to the news release.
The complete story here.
Meanwhile, a memorial service for Pressly takes place tonight, 7 p.m., at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.
We’ve been busy this week, with Arkansas Business’ first business expo, Commerce Arkansas, with the Little Rock Regional Chamber Commerce, and now an Internet conference in Chicago, where we’ll be until late tomorrow.
An Arkansas television anchorwoman found beaten at her home earlier this week has died from her injuries.
Hospital officials say Anne Pressly, 26, died Saturday at St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center. Hospital spokeswoman Margaret Preston says family members declined to release any other details about Pressly’s death.
Pressly was beaten around the head, face and neck during the attack. She had been unable to communicate with her family or police, while being kept sedated in the intensive care unit.
I didn’t know Anne personally, but I know many of her friends. They’ve all been shocked by the attack, and hopeful that she would recover. Today’s news is just terrible. There’s no other way to put it.
As of tonight, Little Rock Police have no new information in the investigation. Pressly’s father, however, says he believes she was targeted. Arkansas Business Outtakes media writer Mark Hengel this week talks to Al Thompson of the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank in St. Petersburg, Fla., about speculation that Pressly’s celebrity as a television personality could have led to the attack:
Tompkins … said it is fairly common for TV personalities to experience fans who are a little too fanatical. Most are harmless, but a few have taken their interest to the point of obsession, he said.
Tompkins has 25 years of experience working as a television reporter and news director in various markets. During that time he’s had several nuisances, he said, but none whom he felt might harm him. Being known and threatened by viewers is an unfortunate part of the business, he said.
“Journalists can’t lead a sheltered life and still be a journalist,” Tompkins said. Well-known people in any walk of life – “athletes, teachers, politicians,” he said – sometimes have fans who go too far.
Meanwhile, the media has been somewhat awkwardly struggling with just how to report this story — a story involving one of their own:
[KATV] also will remain cautious about covering the story. Another local TV station, KARK-TV, Channel 4, and the Arkansas Blog, published by the Arkansas Times, publicized a break in the case upon learning that Pressly’s credit card was used at a Little Rock gas station. Both news outlets pulled the reports from their Web site after the LRPD contacted them.
“I’m on the side that I wouldn’t want to injure the LRPD’s case,” Nicholson said, though he acknowledged the information was newsworthy.
A complicated story, indeed. And one that has tonight become even more heartbreaking.
After the jump, video of KATV’s Saturday evening news cast.
Filed under: Arkansas Business, Media, TV, Video | Tagged: Al Thompkins, Anne Pressly, Arkansas Business, Arkansas Times, Dale Nicholson, KARK, KATV, Little Rock Police, Mark Hengel, Media, news, Outtakes, Poynter Institute, St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center, TV |