Buffalo Station Posts Photo of Dead Inmate

WIVB in Buffalo figured out a way to drive traffic to the station's website.

The station decided to post a picture of escaped prison inmate Richard Matt after he had been shot and killed.

The station did not show the picture on air, but they did so on their website. 

Chris Woodard, the digital director at WIVB, said the photo was obtained by the station’s news department and the decision to put it online and not on the air was made by News Director Scott Levy.

“I supported the decision,” said Woodard.

WIVB’s news department is separate from its digital department, but they do work together at times.

Levy said the decision to put the photo online “was made to allow the viewer to make that decision (of whether to look at it) for themselves. Putting it on-air does not allow that.”

Actually, WIVB could have warned TV viewers not wanting to see the photo to look away if it had decided to show it. It often does that with disturbing video.

Levy added that WIVB.com also made those who wanted to see the picture click on an image to view it rather than just post it for all to see.

“We wanted to be very careful no one would see it by accident,” explained Woodard of forcing the picture to be clicked on. “The viewer had to make a conscious effort to see it.”

Last place station WKBW decided they would not show the photo. General Manager Mike Nurse  said his acting news director called him to say the station also had the photo from CNN, which he said also posted it online.

“We chose not to show it,” said Nurse. “We felt it was too graphic.”

What about posting it online?

“It is too graphic, period,” said Nurse. “If you wanted to see it, it is available online. We just didn’t feel it was appropriate. Everyone knows he’s dead. How does it advance the story?”

Advance the story? This is all about web clicks and WIVB won that battle. 

If you want to see the photo,

H/T Buffalo News