KCRG-TV9: how we operate

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - *This is an editorial from KCRG-TV9 News Director, Adam Carros*

You’ve probably seen a viral video showing anchors nationwide reading the same promotion script regarding “fake news”, even prompting a tweet from President Donald Trump.  While that video showcases one of the primary fears of media consolidation – one owner running dozens of local news outlets – I felt it important to point out it is NOT how KCRG-TV9 operates.

For those not familiar, the video is from promotions that Sinclair Broadcast Group required all of its stations to create and broadcast.  Sinclair is the largest TV ownership group with 193 stations in more than 100 markets and with plans to grow even bigger, pending approval from the FCC to purchase more stations. Sinclair’s stations did not have a choice not to do it or to change the language.  While this is just a promotion, it fits in line with other “must runs” that Sinclair requires its stations to broadcast – including political commentary.  Media critics point to the concerns that raises about homogenized news with editorial decisions made in the best interest of the parent company.

In 2015, Gray Television bought KCRG-TV9 from The Gazette Company, a longtime local owner. Gray, based in Atlanta, now owns more than 100 stations in 57 markets, not including a Washington, D.C. bureau. For KCRG-TV9, it has meant a great deal of partnerships and support in covering news events that impact Iowa no matter where it happens. What it has not done, is change the principles KCRG-TV9 operates under.

All of the news and content decisions are made here based on what is best for our audience. At the heart of KCRG-TV9, is the people here who are a part of the same communities we cover and serve with information and that is the only thing that drives our news coverage. We follow a Code of Ethics from the Society of Professional Journalists: Seek Truth and Report It, Minimize Harm, Act Independently and Be Accountable and Transparent. While we may not always attain that perfection, we strive every day to meet it and, when we don’t, we try to act fast to fix it. Yes, we want ratings (viewership) to be high so we can support our business – but we only get those ratings by following that Code of Ethics and being a reliable and trusted source of accurate information about our communities.

Not once has anyone from Gray TV told us what KCRG-TV9 should cover, or not cover, or how to report it. Gray has Vice Presidents overseeing station financials. There are technology and digital teams to help test, develop and maintain the systems we use. But there is no corporate news or editorial director guiding how we cover news. Instead, Gray fosters idea sharing and cooperation between local General Managers and News Directors – taking ideas from each other to improve local coverage.

So when you have a question or concern or comment about a news story on KCRG-TV9, you can ask the person locally who made that decision. You don’t have to worry about our reporters, anchors, producers, photographers or any of our journalists being told what to say – including this article.

Here's how you can reach us:

Newsline 9: 319-365-9999 or newsroom@kcrg.com

Comments or Questions: questions@kcrg.com

Adam Carros, News Director: 319-399-5901 or Adam.Carros@kcrg.com 

Our Twitter account: @KCRG

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