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Posts published in “Day: January 21, 2007”


The lines, they do get blurry. A weekend news anchor for KTVB Channel 7 in Boise, Andrea Dearden, also has a second job during the work week, that of a spokesman for the Ada County Sheriff's Office. The relationship is not distant: As anyone who watches local TV news knows, local law enforcement agencies routinely get a lot of air time.

KTVB Manager Doug Armstrong told the Idaho Statesman he has no problem with the mix of jobs.

However, a station website profile of Dearden which (the Statesman reported) listed her as a crime reporter as well as anchor, is now (as of this writing at least) gone from the website.

There are a variety of ethical questions involved here, though we should note that the issue isn't of long standing, since her hiring at the Sheriff's Office is recent and she said she will work only a few more weeks for KTVB.

We bring it up mostly for this reason, an explanatory quote from Armstrong to the Statesman: "You can't confuse reading the news with being a reporter."

That is a provocative statement. Stop and think for a moment about all the promotion, on both the local and national level, of news anchors. We're not suggesting Armstrong is wrong. But the question is obvious: If news anchors aren't reporters, what are they?