From Cell to Cell?
Summary: Some teen-agers are in big trouble for allegedly sharing pornography at school. Reporter: Renee Kaminski, WPXI Channel 11 Airtime: 1 minute, 43 seconds on April 16 Highlights: * The "ONLY ON 11" tag, which remains on-screen throughout the entire story. When a breathless Kaminski reports, "We just got word from Pittsburgh school-district officials that three students are now being disciplined for this incident. Here at police headquarters, I can tell you there's much harsher discipline coming for the one student involved. He will be charged criminally." * When Kaminski introduces us to a staffer who "likes her job" at University Prep -- a public school for grades 6-12 -- and "did not want to be publicly identified. But she knows alllll about the child pornography that police say was discovered on a sophomore's cell phone." The staffer then proceeds to share with us her supposedly comprehensive knowledge of the situation: "Ah, yeah, they were talking about it yesterday. One of the kids, ah, was showing pornography. We don't know if it was on their cell phone, or if they brought something in." * When Kaminski continues, "City sex-assault detectives spent part of the morning at the Centre Avenue school, investigating reports that a 16-year-old male student downloaded child and adult pornography to his cell phone, then displayed it on his MP3 player -- in school." * When Kaminski asks a Pittsburgh police sergeant if "this kid" is in trouble, and he answers, "He faces criminal prosecution. This is a felony." * Kaminski's elaboration, "According to police, the images are deeply disturbing and very explicit. Police found a total of 56 pictures of child and adult pornography -- children that appear [to be] 8 and 9 years old." * When the sergeant specifies, "In this instance, the child, or the juvenile in question, utilized LimeWire as the Internet source to download the images." * When Kaminski concludes, "I asked police if they asked the student why he brought the porn to school -- they did -- and his explanation was [Kaminski shrugs], 'I have no idea.'" What We Learned: If it's misdeeds, it leads. Unanswered Question: Do people realize that they don't have to talk to TV reporters? News Value: 2. Also "ONLY ON 11" -- a staffer who has nothing better to offer than what amounts to half-assed gossip, known also as "hearsay."