A local news station in Champaign, Illinois has apologized for its coverage after the death of police officer Chris Oberheim, who was killed in a shooting while on duty last May, Adweek reported.
WCIA, a CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar, ran a segment apologizing after the station came under fire for its decisions regarding the coverage after the shooting, specifically of a memorial service for the alleged shooter, Darion Lafayette, who was killed during the shoot-out. At the time, the station’s broadcast included a picture of Lafayette, which had been provided by his family, showing him with a halo and angel wings.
In response to the coverage, some small businesses located in the area began to pull their advertising, and the station’s news director and general manager have both left their posts since the backlash began.
"We don’t simply want to say we’re sorry now, and then go back to normal operations thinking a simple apology would make everything OK," anchor Jennifer Roscoe said during the segment, which lasted for almost four minutes. Nexstar senior vice president and regional manager Traci Wilkinson and Nexstar Media director of local content Andy Miller, who is also WCIA’s acting news director, also appeared during the segment to assure viewers that the station has made changes "to be sure an error like the one we made never happens again."
Wilkinson said: "Our company has very specific policies and procedures in place to ensure the editorial process. In the case of that story, they failed and for that we are truly sorry."
However, not all viewers were appeased by the apology. One wrote on Facebook: "I’m honestly not bothered that they did a story on the perpetrator. He died and a family lost a member, and we need to remember that. But showing the picture of him with angel wings and halo was inexcusably tone deaf. I will never understand how that made it to air."
Theodore Bunker ✉
Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.
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