Action to Address WCCO Story

CAAR hosted a discussion on Nov. 19 about the WCCO story that aired on Oct. 31. We invited community member and organizational participation so that we can continue to hold media accountable for stories that hurt people of color, immigrants and those with little or no English language skills.

Below are stories, links and meeting minutes for those who are interested in learning more and/or getting involved.

Late in the day on Wednesday, Nov. 23, WCCO posted an Editor’s Note on its homepage. The three paragraph note confirms that the station misunderstood what the employee at the meat market was saying but does not amount to an apology. Typical corrections would include some note about regretting the error.

For that reason, CAAR and five other organizations on Dec. 1 sent WCCO’s Vice President and General Manager Brien Kennedy, WCCO News Director Mike Caputa, and CBS Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone a Community Letter to CBS and WCCO requesting they air a stronger apology. The letter also asked the station to be more forthcoming and transparent with the details of what happened, and suggested the newsroom meet with community members to discuss the story.

The letter also included the names of 158 individuals from around the world who signed two online petitions. The organizations who signed the letter were:

  1. CAAR
  2. MN APIA
  3. Center for Hmong Arts and Talent
  4. Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans
  5. Jewish Community Action
  6. Mainstreet Project
*UPDATE: CAAR visited the WCCO studios on December 20, 2011 to review the TV station’s public access file. This served two purposes: (1) to train community members on how to access these files so they can continually monitor media, and (2) to see the correspondence between community and WCCO related to the Chinatown story. We engaged in two telephone conversations with WCCO’s Vice President and General Manager. While WCCO expressed an interest in working with CAAR, the TV station later backed off that statement, saying instead that it felt it had resolved the matter to the best of its ability. The station did state it might consider a proactive (and more general) dialogue focusing on media’s relationship to communities of color. We hope they continue to take these issues seriously and work with community members — not just their peers in the field — to find mutually beneficial solutions. CAAR will continue to communicate with WCCO to make sure it makes only upward progress towards strong journalistic principles of fairness, accuracy and balance when it covers people of color.

Meeting Minutes

CAAR-MN APIA Joint Meeting on WCCO Story – Minutes Nov 19 2011

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