WPIX Opts for Sensationalism Wednesday Night in Story About Missing New York Times Reporters

You probably heard about the four New York Times reporters who disappeared in Libya. WPIX mentioned it Wednesday night in their opening “11 stories in 11 minutes” segment.

At issue is not the 27-second story that anchor Jodi Applegate read. Instead, it was the graphic shown leading up to it. If you haven’t seen the newly formatted PIX News at 10, viewers are given a rundown with mini icons at the bottom of the screen.

The icon for this particular story read “Staff Dead?” with The New York Times logo in the background. However, Applegate accurately made no mention of the reporters possibly being killed. 

“It’s feared they may have been captured by Libyan forces,” Applegate said in the broadcast.   

The graphic showed a lapse in news judgment, enticing viewers to stay put with a dramatic tease. The “Staff Dead?” graphic, while only getting “airtime” for a few minutes, was still a weak move by WPIX, which wrongly toyed with their audience’s emotions.

To be fair, within the actual story, the story headline said “Missing Staff” on the screen. But the damage was done.

FishbowlNY attempted to reach WPIX for a comment.