Arkansas Times: Life in the Public Eye Post-Pressly

Arkansas Times

Arkansas Times

The Arkansas Times today has a good cover story on how some Little Rock TV news anchors and news directors are rethinking how on-air talent is promoted in after the murder last month of KATV news anchor Anne Pressly.

David Koon and Gerard Matthews interview each of the market’s four news directors. And they talk to one local TV news reporter, a woman, who chose to remain anonymous in the story. Also interviewed: former KTHV anchor Anne Jansen, former KATV and KARK news director Bob Steel and former KARK anchor Doug Krile.

The article also notes KATV’s new online experiment, Choose Your News, which we’ve covered here before. KATV insists safety remains top of mind for their on-air news personalities; this, as viewers can watch live Webcam video of reporter Kristin Fisher, and communicate with her via Twitter, e-mail and blogs, throughout the day as she assembles her nightly stories.

From the Times:

Before Pressly’s assault, the feature could have rightly been called smart and innovative — a great way to give viewers a glimpse into the inner workings of the station, not to mention a golden opportunity for one of KATV’s rising stars. These days, however, it’s hard not to think about who might be watching. Fisher, however, says she’s comfortable with the process and KATV has made efforts to protect her safety.

“Of course there were conversations about my safety. But we decided that I’m not taking a risk that’s any bigger than any other reporter. I’m always with somebody. A lot of times I’m in the newsroom so people can watch the desk camera. If I need to say something, or if I need to make a personal phone call I have a mute button,” Fisher says.

In the end, while many TV stations have beefed up security and removed personal information from on-air talent’s online bios, all the news professionals in the story say local TV news’ promotion of on-air personalities remains an important part of the business, and it isn’t likely to change.


Hospital Fires Up to 6 for Accessing Pressly’s File


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