Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Giddy KPIX/KCBS Goes GaGa over New Bay Bridge Opening for Labor Day Only Still Asks No Questions Which is Pretty Shameful

It's all so convenient and gleeful --downright giddy. Too bad your Bay Area media, notably KPIX and KCBS, the lead cheerleaders at the Bay Bridge booster club, haven't addressed the following, namely:

**Who at the Feds gave the rapid thumbs-up to opening up the new bridge by Labor Day? Was there anyone on the record or was this simple bureaucratic convenience ?

**KCBS and its local TV conduit, KPIX5, has been the head cheerleaders--Did PIX mention its relationship with Caltrans regarding the bridge opening? More than just a mere full disclosure, it had an OBLIGATION to let its viewers be aware of its affiliation. Case Closed. Doesn't matter if PIX scooped the other outlets. Did PIX reporter delve into the minutiae of the sudden change by Caltrans, the feds, the MTC, in moving up the bridge opening to its original Labor Day target?

**Has anyone, PIX, KCBS, mentioned that the contractor gets a $20 million Bonus if the bridge is open on Labor Day? Not a peep. Kind of weird.

**Has any of the media booster club members bothered to interview the score of engineers, experts, people with no axe to grind, that still insist that the new bridge is unsafe and should NOT be opened? Not a peep. The skeptics might be wrong about the bridge's safety, even so, I'd like to know. Call me old-school.



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  1. Guess some will find out how well it works during the next 6.9

  2. Is anybody inspecting the western span?

    Maybe tonight Liz will pooch her lips just so, and let us know.

  3. Yeah, I hate it when people put "Developing" on stories where there's nothing new since the last time they reported it. Back to you, Rich...

    1. "Nothing New?" --they, the authorities, appear to be rushing to open the bridge based on their original target, in spite of many respected folks who say the new bridge is not safe.

      Back to you.

    2. Rich, that was before the retro-fix. Have the "respected folks" inspected it since?

    3. If they don't mention the $20 million bonus, if that's accurate, in EACH report on the bridge opening, they are not doing their job. I say this as an editor with many years' experience in print and broadcast. It is a relevant fact to each and every story on the bridge opening. If a reporter brought me this story without noting the bonus, it would not run until it had the accurate information.

  4. The intern that used to work at the NTSB is now answering the phone at the Federal Highway Administration.

  5. they actually mentioned the $20 million bonus when they first started working on the your homework

    1. I'm talking about NOW since we have an abrupt change in the direction of this story--NO, you do YOUR homework.

    2. See my comment abot, 12:23. In my hurry, I posted it in the wrong place. Rich is correct: the $20 million bonus is relevant, if it is true.

      Furthermore, Rich is also correct to be questioning a news organization that has become a booster of a project. All one has to do is read SPJ's Code of Ethics to figure out the potential time-bombs.

      The code says journalists should "avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived."

      It also says journalists (which include news organizations) should "remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility."

      They should "disclose unavoidable conflicts."

      Rich has asked if the TV station is getting special treatment to obtain access.

      The Code of Ethics also speaks to that. Journalists should "deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage."

      A self-aware news organization would note the potential perception of a conflict of interest, which the Code of Ethics also addresses: Journalists should "clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct."

      While KPIX may not be doing anything unethical or wrong, this last point is one that its executives may want to consider (if it already addressed this point, I missed it) because Rich is not the only one wondering about the station's objectivity or lack of it regarding the bridge.

      Additionally, Rich brought up relevant questions regarding the bridge's opening. I heard similar questions on Ronn Owens' show earlier this week.

      Here's the link to SPJ's code, which is the gold standard:

    3. Oh, for full disclosure, I am a dues-paying and current member of SPJ.

    4. > It also says journalists (which include news organizations) should "remain free of
      > associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility."

      > They should "disclose unavoidable conflicts."

      > The Code of Ethics also speaks to that.Journalists should "deny favored treatment to
      > advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage."

      Not to say this isn't commendable, but if it were followed, every tech writer and movie reviewer would be out of business. This is how reviewers get access to stars and how tech writers get their gadgets before everyone else.

      Not to mention how reporters get politicians to talk to them.

      Anybody in journalism who follows these codes gets no stories, in other words, unless they have names that were made before the lines began to be transgressed openly (late 80s, early 90s). Sad but true.

  6. Now this is a story I can get behind. Go get em Rich!

  7. Love the KPIX/KCBS plants commenting in here

  8. A $20 million bonus? For simply doing their jobs? Government can be, and usually is, truly pathetic.

  9. KCBS and the Bay Bridge opening = an embarrassing love fest.

  10. This thing stinks to high heaven. Never mind the media partnership with the bridge. Is everyone absolutely sure this Willie Brown-fueled piece of "art" is going to be safe? Is it really okay to open this thing on Labor Day? Is someone playing Russian Roulette with people's lives?

    Now to the media partnership. Big time conflict of interest. Huge conflict of interest. You expect the CBS O/O mouthpieces to be anything but partial and ass-kissy about the bridge?

    Listeners and viewers: remember, you don't have to listen to this crap. You don't have to drink from the same watering hole. Use your heads. Think for yourselves. Thanks to this thing called corporate partnerships, the media has been indeed bought. Don't let the marketing spin quacks fool you. It's true and they know it, too. But they're more concerned about keeping their cushy jobs.

    Someone needs to stand up to be the watchdog here. This bridge gong show is like a lot of public construction projects that have taken place in the Bay Area -- and elsewhere.

  11. Jeez, Rich, you're on fire; this is good stuff; KPIX went past reality with this a long time ago. Thanks.

  12. KTVU and KGO 7 are also joining the frenzy. While they aren't tied (apparently) to the new bridge in the same way that KPIX is, it seems that we the public are being fed some scary Kool Aid here.

    I am just not convinced. To me, the new bridge has serious flaws and I will go out of my way to avoid traveling on it.

    Then again, I am not a media person nor a politician nor an "expert engineer," so what do I know?

  13. These stations are doing exactly the opposite of their jobs. The bridge situation is frightening. Since I personally don't have access to the people who are responsible for the bridge's safety, I need these reporters to ask questions for me. It's really important for these stations to get this one right. To become PR flacks instead is a form of corruption.