The gist of the story featured a resident in financial need due to being out of work because of Covid19. However the reported did not mention if the featured person had used their stimulus check or checks to catch up on bills or put toward bills. I Tweeted @NC5 and the reported and the response was a bit of a surprise. The reply was that it did not matter what they spent their stimulus check on and none of the reporters business.
However it is the viewing public's business to know if the person is asking for help and getting a platform with hundreds of thousands of viewers.
Now I want to be clear, I do not know how the featured person spent their check and they very well could have applied it toward bills, the point of this post is a News Outlet and a reporter has a duty to their viewers to report ALL the facts.
In this time of Covid19 there are thousands getting their voice out there begging for money, when they misuse what they have or did get.
I know of cases where ones for one reason or another were unable to pay their rent but as soon as they got their stimulus check they bought the biggest TV they could and still did not pay their rent. A quick Google search will lead you to News Channels across the WORLD where a person was interviewed asking for financial help, but later learned they did not really need it or used their stimulus checks for material purchases.
The most widely known case of reporter abuse
In this case the reported failed to properly vet the source and failed to do due diligence to the facts of the story. This story was picked up even by @NC5 and falsely reported.
It is the job of a reported to care about the facts of the store even how donated or emergency funds already given were used. When a person goes to borrow money the lender wants to know everything about how the borrower spends their money and where it goes.
Suppose in truth this featured person did use her stimulus money to put toward bills but it was not enough, tell the viewing public. But suppose this reported in his failure to learn all the facts discovered later that the featured person used their stimulus check for a large screen TV, a new game system, a pool, etc. Then he put this featured person on TV asking for more free money, and later another News outlet discovers the truth and runs the story, @NC5 would look foolish for not properly vetting a story.
When anyone is featured on the news asking for financial help or explaining how bad the Covid19 has hurt them financially it is the responsibility the reporter and news agency to included what measures of self help the person has already taken, if nothing else to protect the integrity of the news agency.
In this story the integrity of News Channel 5 has been brought into question, because a story with this many unanswered questions allows for ANYONE to plead their case during the news broadcast. No one should be allowed to use a News Agency to express a need for financial help without letting the public know what they themselves have done and no reporter should ever say,"how they spent their stimulus check is their business" when he is interviewing them and in their time of financial need.
Simply including "the subject has used all their resources including their stimulus money in an attempt to catch up on their bills." Would be better than telling the public "I don't care."
The sad thing is a story like this could return to do News Channel 5 great harm.
There are too many people begging for money who are misusing it and far too many more who need help that will not get this kind of platform. Do a story on delayed unemployment but do so with the facts.