Friday, September 17, 2010

KSTP: The Headless Chicken of Local News

Post and photo by the Hawthorne Hawkman

UPDATE:  As referenced in the comments section below, it appears KSTP has now changed the video slightly.  This is a positive development and shows at least some commitment to accuracy.  Given KSTP's history of poor reporting in NoMi however, the original text of my article below will remain as is.

Some time ago, Johnny Northside called KSTP the slumlord of local media. He was too generous. At least a slumlord generally knows what they're doing. KSTP, on the other hand is clearly unaware of even the most basic facts, and continues to either neglect the positive developments in NoMi or lump them in with their next opportunity to cover blood and guts.

The most recent example of this happened today, when...
...they covered the homicide that occurred at 30th and Colfax

 Let's start with the factually incorrect item first:  at the 35-second mark of the video above, they state, "Disgust and sadness came to the EcoVillage community today, along with the crime scene tape."

The EcoVillage is a very specific area, from Lyndale Ave N to 4th St N (east/west) and 30th Ave N to Lowry Ave N (north/south).  The intersection of 30th and Colfax is not in the EcoVillage.  I can understand how one might be unfamiliar with the neighborhood and make a mistake, since that intersection IS rather close.  If only KSTP had access to something like a map of the EcoVillage...the kind of map that gets handed out at major press conferences...the very press conference THAT KSTP ATTENDED YESTERDAY!

Yes, that's right.  The photo above is from yesterday's announcement of the MetLife award.  KSTP was there and had a chance to gather such basic information, yet did not.

KSTP also stated that "crime is down 70% in the area," which is true if you define "the area" as the EcoVillage.  However, the area KSTP is referring to presumably contains the intersection where the homicide happened, which as we've established, is not in the EcoVillage.

Furthermore, KSTP failed to run any kind of story about or footage from the presentation of the MetLife award.  I called their news line to complain about both the factual errors and continued severe disservice to NoMi.  That number is 612-588-6397.  A person named Eric answered, and he failed to understand the simple concept that 30th and Colfax is not in the EcoVillage.  Even Al Flowers has a better grasp of north Minneapolis geography.

When I complained as well about their continued lack of coverage of almost anything positive (they did show up for the Camden Lions' pancake breakfast benefit for the Vang family), Eric informed me that they did write a script for the MetLife award presentation.  They just decided for whatever reason to not actually report it to the rest of us.  Well, doesn't that just warm the heart?  Thanks a lot, KSTP, I'm sure the script that no one will ever see is just phenomenal.

This miserably slanted reporting towards north Minneapolis is nothing new for KSTP.  Call the number above and set them straight.


  1. Not only that but their "neighborhood" reporting feature on their website only lists Camden for a northside neighborhood. I emailed complaining since there are clear North neighborhoods that fall outside of just Camden. I received a reply back that Camden is a more interesting and popular neighborhood and is therefor the name that should account for all North news.

  2. It's hard to get upset about the headless chicken when this blog post's headline is: "NXNS Exclusive: Homicide at 30th and Colfax" and it reads how "just moments ago"...

    I would consider that a chicken with it's head cut off, too.

  3. To be clear, Anon 9:22, I don't begrudge KSTP for reporting on a homicide. And if I'm the first to get photos of that scene, I'll post such things here as well (and claim exclusivity). Homicides, unfortunately, are newsworthy, and neither mainstream media nor blogs should shy away from newsworthy items.

    But KSTP rarely covers the positive elements of north Minneapolis. When they do, such stories are intermingled with the negative, as if those are interchangeable in our community. And in this specific case, they neglected to run a positive story even after they had attended the event and written a script. Unacceptable.

  4. The video appears to have been updated since your initial post. There is no reference to Eco-Village any more, and the lead-out for the piece teases another segment on a later newscast relating to the crime reduction award.

  5. Nice to know you're more concerned about the reputation of Eco Village, than about the fact a young man lost his life.


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