FOR THE SIXTH anniversary of the attacks on 9/11, WABC - the ABC affiliate in New York City - thought about not showing the entire ceremony from Ground Zero.
It would have been the first time that a New York news station opted not to broadcast the entire ceremony in which the names of each of the 2,749 victims are read aloud before a gathering of victims' families.
"We hope to be respectful to the families and serve our audience," WABC's news director told the New York Daily News. "This is not about ratings, it's about what's right."
The station originally announced that it would broadcast only the beginning of the ceremony live and then broadcast the remainder on their website and digital channel.
On their regular channel, WABC planned to broadcast "Live with Regis and Kelly" followed by "Rachael Ray" and "The View."
But viewers complained and this morning, WABC announced they would broadcast the entire ceremony live on all of their outlets - web, digital channel and regular channel.
Did the viewers have the right to demand the entire ceremony? Does a news station have an obligation to present this story?
Was the original decision to not broadcast the ceremony a straight-forward business decision? Someone had to be the first station to not broadcast these ceremonies that are the same every year, with very little audience interest, right?
Wasn't the station really saying that America needs to move on?
If you were the news director, would you have caved so quickly? Or would you have stuck by your convictions?
Or would you have shown the ceremony in full all along?
UPDATE FROM 9/14: New York Daily News says only one station per year should broadcast the 9/11 ceremony.
UPDATE FROM 9/17: NY Daily News readers say its time to cut back 9/11 ceremony coverage.
8 months ago