For the last several days, WCIA 3 has been providing extensive coverage of the tragic events and aftermath of the shooting death of Champaign police officer Chris Oberheim, and the wounding of his partner, officer Jeffrey Creel. As part of our coverage, we aired a story on our 10 pm newscast last Friday regarding the memorial service for Darion Lafayette, the man accused in the shooting.
Reporting stories of this nature are complicated and emotional for everyone involved—for the families and friends of the deceased and the wounded, and for the police department. An event like this has a direct impact on everyone in our community.
Friday night’s story about Darion Lafayette’s memorial service generated a lot of viewer reaction and discussion on our website and social media pages, and in the community. Many of you took issue with our coverage of the service.
Our job is to bring you stories in an unbiased and objective fashion. We don’t pass judgement. We report. That’s been our mission at WCIA 3 for almost 70 years. Friday night’s presentation of the story fell short of our standards and for that we apologize.
WCIA 3 welcomes this kind of dialogue. In the coming weeks, we will be continuing the conversation and actively engaged in discussing the issues arising from the shooting and its impact on our community. In the meantime, please continue to send us your thoughts and comments about our reporting and the job we are doing…you can do that at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re listening…and always trying to improve the job we do for you.