Neighborhoods Organizing for Change urges KSTP sponsors to follow UCare's lead in pulling ads from KSTP after the station's racially charged #pointergate story alleged Mayor Betsy Hodges flashed gang signs with NOC organizer Navell Gordon.
"Although people throughout the Twin Cities and the U.S. quickly saw the #pointergate story for the racist, sensationalist non-story it was, KSTP and Stan Hubbard refuse to apologize and continue to double down on their inexcusably irresponsible reporting," said Anthony Newby, executive director of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. "We applaud UCare for taking a strong stance against this divisive race-baiting by canceling their contract with KSTP, rightly acknowledging that this story harms the entire community, including their customers. If KSTP refuses to apologize, we believe that they should be held accountable financially. KSTP's reckless reporting is dangerous to communities of color and detrimental to our work to end racial disparities in the Twin Cities. We call on other members of the business community who advertise with KSTP to follow UCare's lead and take a stand against racist and shoddy journalism."
KSTP has received widespread criticism for the #pointergate story, including from the Society of Professional Journalists, which has repeatedly said the story violated standards of ethics in journalism. In a Wednesday press release, SPJ reiterated "The SPJ Code of Ethics says, as journalists, we should acknowledge mistakes and correct them promptly and prominently. This story was deeply flawed, and KSTP and [reporter Jay] Kolls need to acknowledge that."
UCare is the second KSTP sponsor to address the #pointergate story with its advertising dollars. Schuler Shoes announced on November 12 via Twitter that they had suspended ads with KSTP and would now stop them altogether, saying, "Our decision to suspend ads w/KSTP was made PRIOR to #pointergate story. However, we do not support any type of racism or discrimination." UCare is the first sponsor to pull ads as a direct consequence of #pointergate.
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