WTVJ ran a story during its 6pm newscast last Thursday in which one of the full-screen graphics identified the Florida GOP as the ‘Reprehensive Party of Florida’ instead of ‘Republican Party of Florida’. It turned out that WTVJ got the graphic from Capitol News Service in Tallahassee, and both news outlets had to apologize. One Capitol News Service was fired, and another one left.
The Republican Party of Florida responded strongly, accusing WTVJ of slander
“This blatant disregard for journalist ethics and impartiality is a complete abdication of your station’s professional duty to truth at best and slander at worst. We are currently reviewing our legal options against your station, but at minimum we demand an on-air apology for violating journalist ethics and public discipline for any employees responsible for the creation of this graphic,”
WTVJ issued a statement apologizing for the incident
“We apologize to the Republican Party of Florida and to our viewers for our airing of a wrong graphic in a news story in last night’s 6 p.m. newscast. The story came to us from a news service we use out of Tallahassee that we have relied on for years with no issues. We do, however, know it was our responsibility to catch the graphic and we regret that we did not prevent it from airing. We are addressing this with our employees to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again. Once again, we sincerely regret this incident.”