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National Association of Broadcasters

TEGNA’s ‘Facts Not Fear’ Approach to Coronavirus

Topic: Investigative Reporting
Posted on 2/28/2020

TEGNA stations are committed to a “Facts Not Fear” approach to reporting on the coronavirus outbreak, with a focus on providing context and perspective, while not downplaying the severity of the situation. TEGNA is paying close attention to the graphics stations use and encourages reporters to take the time needed to ensure they report accurate information. National and local fact-checking teams at TEGNA’s project Verify are focused on coronavirus misinformation and are creating accurate reports.

NBC affiliate KPNX aired a segment addressing rumors about how coronavirus might spread on international flights.

NBC affiliate KUSA Denver produced an 80-second video mission statement promising viewers that it will not “play on our fears and yours” with click-bait headlines. It also pledged not to “guess or speculate or assume,” but instead seek out multiple experts and vetted sources.

NBC affiliate KSDK St. Louis also aired a segment about TEGNA’s “Facts Not Fear” approach. The station offered a phone number so viewers can text questions about the coronavirus and receive answers from medical professionals.

“Our journalists and our news leaders are handling this with such care and such a commitment to help their communities,” said TEGNA VP of News Ellen Crooke. “They have a great sense of this is a duty to our country, to do this well and to do this properly.”

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