Claiming that media bias “can serve the public good,” KPLR (Channel 11) anchor/reporter Melanie Moon is defending her actions surrounding the coverage of the Ryan Ferguson case.
Moon — who covered the case in which Ferguson was freed Tuesday after serving 10 years for the murder of a Columbia newspaper editor — hugged both Ferguson and his father after Ferguson’s release on Tuesday.
Moon’s reports on the release and Ferguson’s first full day out of prison were broadcast on both KPLR and KTVI (Channel 2).
Moon also has posted a photo of her and Ferguson on herKPLR Facebook page, with Ferguson’s arm around her shoulder.
"This is a very unique story, and I got very close to him," Moon said in an interview Thursday. "There is a lot of emotion with it."
Asked if she thought the hugs brought her objectivity into question, Moon replied, “It’s impossible to be objective on this. It was clearly and blatantly an injustice.”
Moon also said that such actions “depend on the story. We’re people first and reporters second.”
When asked if this flap has caused her to rethink her reportorial behavior, she replied, “I’ll be more careful of what I tweet; I’ll keep some of those thoughts to myself.”
According to JimRomenesko.com, a journalism watchdog blog, Moon said on Twitter:
"I hugged both. In some cases media biases, based in a strong sense of right & wrong, serve the public good!"