In the past couple of weeks, WFTV has gone from reporting the news to becoming the news.
This past weekend brought national attention to Channel 9’s Eyewitness News for its Barbara West interview of Joe Biden. The anchor’s grilling of the veep candidate was the top story on DrudgeReport.com and FoxNews.com, and it was also picked up by many other media outlets — inside the mainstream and out.
This follows a news-making incident involving another WFTV reporter earlier this month. Steve Barrett and his videographer were thrown out of a news confernece by Casey Anthony attorney Jose Baez on Oct 14. The confrontation between the attorney and Barrett was caught on tape by other news outlets. Baez reportedly was upset with WFTV’s coverage of his client.
Being a news organization that becomes part of the news itself is never something easy to endure. To WFTV’s credit, I did not notice any attempt to play up the incident with Biden over the weekend. In fact, I had several people say they had trouble finding the video clip on WFTV’s Web site.
Meanwhile, OrlandoSentinel.com received record weekend traffic for TV columnist Hal Boedeker’s reporting of the West-Biden interview. The Sentinel may be the only local media outlet that’s actually reporting about the incident. I doubt we’ll see Local 6, WESH 2 News or Fox 35 promoting a WFTV interview — no matter how newsworthy — on their newscasts.