Eyebrows were raised when a KUSA Photographer acted as the spokesperson for Kristin Hopkins, the Denver area woman who was trapped for six days in a car.
KUSA staffer Brian Willie acted as the spokesperson for the family and many see that as a conflict of interest.
Asked about the situation, KUSA posted on Twitter: “He’s not involved in our coverage of accident. He and the family are close friends. They asked him to be their spokesperson.”
KUSA Assistant News Director Tim Ryan said in an email:
9NEWS News Production Manager Brian Willie acted as a spokesperson for the family of Kristin Hopkins Monday. Willie is a close friend of the Hopkins family. The family asked him to read an on-camera statement to the media at St Anthony Central Hospital. Willie was not covering the story for 9NEWS.
“There is no conflict of interest,” KUSA General Manager Mark Cornetta said.
Cornetta, News Director Patti Dennis and Ryan on a conference call denied any ethical dilemma but noted, “Brian isn’t going to be reading any more statements to the media.”
"There is no loss of objectivity. The hospital will provide any other release of information.” Going forward, the spokesman will not be Willie.
Hmmmm? If there is no conflict...then why is he no longer the family spokesman?
H/T Denver Post