KVIA (El Paso) Reporter Pilar Arias thought she had an exclusive story, but did not.
The station opened their newscast with one of those hyped “Only on ABC 7” lead-ins.
The story was about a proposal from El Paso Independent School District to essentially merge Vilas Elementary in Sunset Heights with Mesita Elementary in Kern Place (yeah I know, not exactly earth shaking stuff).
Arias closed her report with, “I would like to thank the El Paso ISD public information team for giving me this information tonight to give it to you first before you hear it anywhere else,” she said.
Since when does a journalist thank a “PR team” for doing what they’re supposed to do, which is provide the media with information?
So her "exclusive" came from the PR department? Not exactly hard breaking investigative journalism there.
But, there was another problem.
The El Paso Times had posted the story well before the station's newscast. No word if Arias now wants to retract her thank you.
KVIA Managing Editor Eric Huseby said the station doesn’t claim a story to be “exclusive” unless a source tells them it is so, but that they’re still working to figure out the sequence of events that led to the news story.
Huseby and KVIA General Manager Kevin Lovell said it’s not station policy to thank sources or PR teams for information, and are not sure why Arias did so.
Ahhhh...local TV news.
H/T El Paso Times