Over the past week, WTAP News has asked local residents to go to our web channel -- wtap-dot-com -- and tell us which of the various un-solved murder or mysterious death cases in the Mid-Ohio Valley they would like to see us expend time and energy on, to explore for a series of stories in February.
Sadly to say there are many such cases, too many for us to do all of them. Rather than arbitrarily select the three we felt we could devote time and energy to doing, we decided to let you -- the viewers -- help us decide.
We put a list of some of the cases on our home page and people started logging on by the hundreds to tell us which three cases they'd be interested in hearing more about.
We had some feedback from family members whose cases were not on the list and some who were offended that we would conduct such a survey. We went back and added at least one more case to the list of choices in response to these inquiries.
If we decided we wanted to look further into or update our viewers on the status of the investigation into some of these cases, we could not do all of them. We would have to make a choice. We felt that giving the public an opportunity to help us decide which cases we ought to go after, was a better way to make that decision.
We will run announcements on our TV stations, letting people know when this series of reports will air. But this will not be the only series of special reports we will do in the coming weeks. Another series will look at the credit crisis and what you can do to keep from getting trapped in it. In another, we'll send a reporter to Daytona, Florida, to send back reports in the days leading up to the Daytona 500.
We have done reports over the years about long-unsolved murder cases. But this is the first time we've ever asked the public's help in deciding which ones to do.
To the extent possible, we want to cover the news that matters to you and in which you have an interest. We've never had a tool like the internet before, which can give us this kind of feedback in a fast, meaningful way. So, we decided to utilize our web channel to bring you into the decision-making loop.
We didn't do this to over-sensationalize these cases of personal and community tragedy, but merely to open up the process to your input. We thank all of you who have chosen to get involved in this process and we apologize to anyone who feels his or her family's case has been omitted or may feel offended by our efforts. That was not our intent. Nor do I think it will be the result.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.