KSTP is still getting publicly pounded for #pointergate almost two weeks after the ill-fated segment aired.
Yesterday the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (MNSPJ) issued a statement asking KSTP to disavow the story, calling it "fundamentally flawed and based on a faulty premise -- that a silly gesture made by the mayor in a candid photo amounted to a gang sign."
MNSPJ wants what everyone else has asked for since the story aired: For KSTP to admit it was played by the police union, apologize, and allow everyone involved to move on.
"As journalists I think we're all familiar with making mistakes. I don't think any of us can say we've never published a story we're not proud of, what we really want to see is KSTP acknowledge they made a mistake and correct it," said MNSPJ President-elect Jonathan Kealing.
MNSPJ also announced in its statement that it's hosting a public forum to discuss ethical issues raised by #pointergate at 7 p.m. on December 11 at the University of Minnesota's Cowles Auditorium. KSTP has been invited to the forum but has not yet responded to the invitation.
KSTP repeatedly defended its story over the past two weeks, making it abundantly clear that it will not be apologizing any time soon. It even ran a segment last Thursday smearing Navell Gordon, the man in the infamous photo with Mayor Betsy Hodges, in a futile attempt to justify the story.
"I think stories like this feed into perceptions that journalists can be manipulated or journalists can be used to score political points," said Kealing.
MNSPJ has issued statements in the past criticizing poor local journalism. Most recently it slammed WCCO for its infamous "Duck Dog" story.