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Television
John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV


Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Reaction to the Marcus Fiesel story

Got some interesting reaction to my story yesterday (Wednesday) about why so much national media attention has been paid to the JonBenet Ramsey case, and why so little to Marcus Fiesel.
(http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060830/NEWS01/608300357/-1/back01)

I also want to share an aspect from my reporting that didn’t make the story: TV news experts tell me that, if JonBenet had been killed this year, in the post-9/11 era, the media coverage would have been far less.
"JonBenet would not get the same coverage today,” says Adrew Tyndall, who has monitored network news content for 19 years. (www.tyndallreport.com) "The JonBenet case comes back today because of the residue built up a years ago. Cable news networks and morning TV shows can be egregious, but it’s better than it was in the 1990s, at the peak of the feeding frenzy. That’s the good news."
Since 9/11, the media world has changed, says Steve Ackermann, the WXIX-TV (Channel 19) news director who worked 12 years as a CBS News producer. Viewers want more serious news, and not the 1990s tabloid crime stories, such as JonBenet, O.J. Simpson or Susan Smith, the South Carolina mother who drown her two sons by driving her car into a lake.
"The national media landscape has changed. There are serious national and international issues now. We live in a different world than we did 10 years ago," Ackerman says.

Emails
--"I read with great interest your article about the lack of national media attention in the Marcus Fiesel case. I was as dismayed as you were (although I did receive an email from my brother in Idaho, who had read of the story in The Idaho Statesman). Since the arraignment of the Carrolls this afternoon, however, CNN has covered the story three times, even making it their top story at the 3:00 hour. They list it as a "Developing Story." I thought you’d be interested to know that, and perhaps a little encouraged."
--"My co-workers and I have been discussing this very issue for days -- wondering why, and coming to the same conclusion: the JonBenet Ramsey murder. My thoughts are, it is not too late to pitch the story to Fox Nexs again, and to CNN and other major news networks. I believe that national media attention may be an effective way to ensure that justice is served for Marcus. Why not rally the masses behind the unified cause of vindication for Marcus? The Carrolls need to pay for what they did to that poor little boy."
--"Too true. I live in eastern Pennsylvania and the only reason I’ve heard about the story is because my ex-wife, who lives in Cincinnati, called me and told me about it. I was surprised that it hadn’t been picked up by any national outlets... As as a former newspaper reporter myself, I am less than surprised. Right before I left a job at a daily, I wrote two stories: one was about how handicapped people in the city of Easton can’t find accessible housing and are often forced to leave their wheelchairs in stairwells and drag themselves up dirty stairs. The other was about how someone found a dead dog and puppies in the woods. The dog had been tied to a tree and left to die with the puppies. Guess which one got picked up by the radio and TV media? It wasn’t the story about the people suffering, that’s for sure."


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