The Review-Journal's Steve Bornfeld reported last night that KTNV's VP and GM Jim Prather has declared Nina Radetich absolved of having betrayed her colleagues' trust and attempting to help her boyfriend profit personally from the same.
“We’re standing by her 100 percent,” Prather told Bornfeld. “She regrets having made that mistake and I think we have all learned from this incident. Nina has worked very hard for more than a decade to do stories and provide news coverage of Las Vegas and I don’t think we should lose sight of the work she’s done. We are working hard to do investigative journalism for the city and the community and that’s not going to stop.”
That is an exceptional level of lame. As I wrote yesterday, Ron Futrell worked there for 25 years and was cut loose on a traffic citation that was later dropped. Young Rob Blair's career was nearly short-circuited by a verbal flub in a pretaped -- meaning nobody else who saw it before it rolled thought it was much, either -- weather report for which he apologized.
Has Nina apologized? Not to her newsroom and not to the public. But thanks, Mr. Prather, for liberating us not to have to speculate on what part of the Las Vegas Sun's blockbuster is was accurate. You've confirmed all of it in that remark when even a little piece of it would have been fatal.
Now the question must become: How does Jim Prather still have a job? The level of journalistic corruption at this station is clearly breathtaking and nobody in their right mind is going to risk confiding in KTNV reporters when there are three other news divisions, two daily newspapers and countless Internet outlets. But he doesn't care because, what? He's social friends with this particular anchor? That's what his own reputation is worth?
From a purely financial standpoint, I'm trying to conceive how Prather justifies his decisions to his corporate master, Journal Broadcast Group, which has but three "values" tenets on its website. Here they are:
- We will hire and keep the best people and reward top performers
- We will work hard, move fast, and achieve our goals
- We will act ethically
I'm all for standing by a troubled employee when their personal life interferes with their professional duties and a little patience can make things better. But that's not what Prather did for Futrell or Blair. He has defined the parameters of his employment standards and it is this: Alleged, later absolved hit-and-run? Unforgivable. Admitted journalistic betrayal and profiteering? Teachable moment. Huh?!?
So tell us, Mr. Prather, what have you or Nina or your staff learned that they didn't already know? You and/or Nina needed reminding that journalists don't leak stories to sources or help them to mitigate the damage of those stories? Really? How did either of you get this far without that choice bit of intel?
This is a teachable moment alright. We've all learned a lot about how seriously KTNV takes its "values."
[P.S. to the LVRJ.Com: Also lame, although not nearly as much, is not linking to the Sun's story from your blog. They beat you. Live with it. You receive tons of incoming traffic from other media sites yet your policy is not to point your readers to the source material you're writing about? Sheesh.]