Absolute Moral Authority

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Archive for July 10th, 2007

Stupid reporter tricks

Posted by mesablue on July 10, 2007

This one takes the cake.

Amy Jacobson, a reporter for NBC 5 in Chicago, was caught on tape frolicking poolside in a bikini at the home of Craig Stebic. Stebic’s wife, Lisa, has been missing since April 30th. Jacobson has been covering the story. According to local authorities, Lisa Stebic was trying to evict Craig from her home on the day she disappeared.

Police suspect foul play and have been combing the area searching for Lisa. Dead or alive.

Ever the grieving husband, Craig threw a poolside party and invited Jacobson who attended — with her children.

Jacobson out at WMAQ

WMAQ-Ch. 5 reporter Amy Jacobson negotiated her exit from the station Tuesday after video surfaced on a rival station showing her at a poolside gathering at the home of Craig Stebic, whose wife’s disappearance Jacobson had been covering.

The news staff was informed of her departure In a memo Tuesday afternoon from Vice President of News Frank Whittaker and News Director Camille Edwards. “We are sorry to tell you that Amy Jacobson is leaving NBC 5 News, effective immediately,” according to the memo, which was obtained by the Tribune.

Officials at WBBM-Ch. 2, who had been debating since Friday whether they should air the tape, aired clips on Tuesday morning and posted a report on the station’s Web site after the tape’s existence was reported in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.

The tape appears to show Jacobson in a bikini top with a towel around her waist, as well as her children, at the Stebic home along with Stebic. Channel 2, which said the tape was shot Friday but did not say how it was acquired, also reported Craig Stebic’s sister from Iowa was present.

Stebic’s wife, Lisa, 37, has been missing since April 30. The couple was in the process of divorcing and Lisa Stebic was moving to evict her husband from their Plainfield home on the day of her disappearance, the Chicago Tribune has previously reported.

Another station source said the executives wanted to take some time to consider whether an ethical line had been breached and whether punishment was merited for her actions, which occurred on her day off. Reporters generally are encouraged to develop sources while maintaining professional detachment.

Channel 2 showed the tape to Michele Weldon, an assistant journalism professor at Northwestern University. “I mean, clearly this is a conflict of interest,” Weldon told the station. “It’s going to make the audience question, and her colleagues and her competitors question what else has she done.”

“I can’t talk,” Jacobson said Monday, referring calls to Whittaker and her agent, attorney Todd Musburger, who did not return calls.

Professional detachment, indeed.


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