INFILTRATE GANNETT MEDIA EMPIRE
(PHOENIX, AZ) - February 28, 2005 - The unconventional media watchdog group NEWSBREAKERS made a protest appearance on KPNX-TV (Ch. 12) Friday.
A member of the group appeared in the Gannett-owned station's 5 p.m. broadcast. An attentive television photographer whistled to gain the docile NEWSBREAKER's attention. Video of the event is available at www.newsbreakers.org/video.htm.
"At first I thought it was a cat-call," said NEWSBREAKER Buck Owens. "Then I realized I had found my way into a live TV news report."
NEWSBREAKERS spent most of the day transfixed by KPNX's coverage of the banal. But the broadcaster made a bee-line for the murder beat at the top of the hour, forcing the group to scale back its efforts.
The group had originally planned a daring, Siegfried & Roy-style live shot extravaganza, but had to scrap those plans after learning the television broadcaster was planning on dishing out some hardcore murder and mayhem-type fare.
"The controversial candy story helped bring things back to un-reality," said NEWSBREAKER J.D. Rozz. "Nobody likes murder, but everyone loves candy. It really helped lighten the mood."
Gannett owns 101 newspapers and 21 television stations. In addition to owning KPNX, Gannett runs Arizona's largest daily newspaper, The Arizona Republic. The two news outlets "collaborate on news-gathering efforts to increase the value of news and information."
NEWSBREAKERS is a nonpartisan media watchdog organization that offers comment and critique on the role of TV news. The group relies on parody and non-traditional media interventions.
The group is currently planning future events.