Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists blasts WCCO over "dog meat" story

The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists released a statement yesterday blasting WCCO-TV for refusing to address errors in its crazy report alleging a local puppy mill was selling dogs to a meat market.

"The Minnesota Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists agrees with the Asian American Journalists Association of Minnesota chapter that WCCO-TV is woefully unresponsive in reaction to an errant news segment aired October 31, 2011," reads the MNSPJ press release.

The group points out the sheer stupidity of WCCO's initial report: I-Team reporter James Schugel misunderstood a Chinese meat owner who said he sold "duck" meat, not "dog" meat, and ran with the story. The mistake was only discovered after New York officials raided the meat market and found no evidence of dog meat. WCCO has since scrubbed the story from its website.

MNSPJ's criticism echoes the Asian American Journalist Association of Minnesota's statement yesterday, which blamed the station for perpetuating an unfortunate stereotype of Asians.

Nothing WCCO can do will un-ring the bell of its false report, but MNSPJ says the TV station has a responsibility to apologize and undo some of the damage its story did not just to the meat market but to all journalists' reputations.

"If a newsroom publishes an incorrect story, it is imperative to acknowledge the mistake and issue a correction and an apology to those the story harmed," the MNSPJ statement reads. "Not doing so makes it harder for all journalists working to win the respect of the public they serve."

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