Target: Bill Fanshawe, WBFF General Manager
Goal: Commend the termination of news team that edited video to make it sound as if protesters were chanting “kill a cop”
A news team edited footage from a protest for the slayings of unarmed black men by white police officers, to make it sound as if the protesters were chanting “kill a cop.” A recent ForceChange petition asked for action to be taken to correct the harm that this inaccuracy has caused and it has been met with success. The news team has been fired, an apology has been issued, and several others have been suspended from their positions due to this attempt at guiding the narrative. This kind of accountability is necessary in journalism and deserves commendation.
The trouble began when Tawanda Jones led a protest chant that said, “We won’t stop, we can’t stop, until killer cops, are in cell blocks.” The news station in question edited this footage to make it sound like people were chanting “kill a cop” at the end. This inaccuracy was blatant and is a perfect example of how the media tries to guide narratives of stories instead of presenting the honest truth. Generally, there is little accountability for things like this, especially on a FOX station; however, this time some justice has been served.
This decision to fire several members of the news team who worked on the story and suspend others shows a great dedication to journalism and trying to tell the truth. This will also hopefully give some comfort and closure to Ms. Jones, who has reported feeling unsafe in the street since the story aired. The news media in this country tries to bend and shape stories to what fits their own personal and economic interests best and that is unacceptable. I ask you now to sign and commend this course of action in hopes that it will encourage others to be held accountable in the future.
Dear Mr. Fanshawe,
I am writing to thank you for your swift and just punishment of those who edited a protest video to make it sound like protesters were inciting violence against police. As you well know, this protest was entirely peaceful and the editing of your former employees was an attempt to make them look violent and thuggish. This is not only factually inaccurate, it’s immoral and misleading to those who depend on your station to present the truth of a story, not a predetermined narrative that caters to one ideological viewpoint.
Punishing these people harshly, as you have, will hopefully deter others at your station from doing the same and show other stations that this kind of behavior is irresponsible and unacceptable. Please continue to hold your news team accountable for their stories and decisions so that the average person can remain informed. Thank you once again and keep up the good work.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons