Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Jonathan Beaton, CBS12, and a surprisingly fair news report last night (3/24)

Jonathan Beaton's news segment on CBS12/WPEC (post-election) stands in dark contrast to the irresponsible news story 4 days prior to election day by Lauren Hills when she referred to "Backroom" Beach Development Proposals. Words such as "backroom" are called loaded language or an "appeal to emotion". Per Wikipedia, "loaded language" is "appeal to emotion is often seen as being in contrast to an appeal to logic and reason."

Not to belabor the point, but the SPJ Code of Ethics has this item: "Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story."

Jonathan Beaton's story you can see here. The screen headline is misleading (all too normal for CBS12) and the scene of Commissioner McVoy walking towards the camera outside City Hall is hilarious. The look on his face says it all, like "why am I doing this, this is stupid". Jonathan Beaton interviews City Manager Michael Bornstein and that went very well, I thought.

Also, Jonathan Beaton keeps referring to the "INT". It's not an "Invitation Negotiate To". The process is called an "Invitation To Negotiate", or an ITN.

Other than the misleading story title, the staged scene with McVoy, and a factual error, the story is not bad at all by the standards of CBS12. And note that Jonathan Beaton did his story within the confines of the CBS12 studio. This is one of my favorite scenes of Jonathan Beaton out in the elements:
And he's done a great job toning down that Orson Welles-like voice he's used in the past. Great for radio but doesn't translate well to TV news; it seemed each news report was heralding the End of the World.