A belated update: As I noted previously, the non-profit, non-governmental Washington News Council decided to take its media-accountability thing to the people, instead of holding a hearing, in the unofficial case of the Secretary of State of Washington v. KIRO-TV in Seattle. Secretary of State Sam Reed had filed a complaint [PDF] with the organization, seeking a public redress of grievances over a KIRO report regarding supposedly illegally registered voters in the 2008 election.
In the complaint, Reed said KIRO reporter Chris Halsne's investigative series on voter registration "fell far short of the most basic standards of journalism for accuracy, balance and fairness. This occurred despite our repeated efforts to correct some of his assumptions and methodology and errors before he aired his reports."
Well, the people weighed in, voting overwhelmingly to "convict" KIRO and Halsne of eight counts of wreckless journalism and disregard of the facts. The citizens then posted comments about how badly the station and the reporter botched the reports, clips of which [#1, #2] they viewed in addition to reading the secretary of state's complaint.
A smattering of the comments of those voting:
KIRO's behavior is dishonest and disgusting. KIRO has lost all credibility with me. —Bruce Biermann
The stories were unconscionable lapses in basic journalistic fairness. —Jim McEntire
Meanwhile, Washington News Council executive John Hamer recently wrote a piece for Crosscut, "Alone at the Press Table," in which he lamented the lack of news coverage of an event he attended. In the comments, an awesome discussion ensued regarding the definition of news. In this case, the table was somewhat turned on Hamer, with several anonymous though obviously professional journalists weighing in.