SALT LAKE CITY — KSTU-TV, the E.W. Scripps-owned Fox affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah on Monday launched a program that allows individuals featured in older, unflattering news articles to have those articles removed or amended under certain conditions.
“While the news is designed to be a historical record, it does not need to be a permanent record for every individual whom we report on,” said Marc Sternfield, Senior Director of News at KSTU-TV. “We believe people deserve second chances, and some stories in our news archives create an unnecessary barrier to that.”
The Moving Forward home page includes a submission form to appeal to KSTU’s management, which will meet on a periodic basis to evaluate appeals and research cases, when applicable.
Stories that will be considered for removal include nonviolent misdemeanor crimes, missing person cases that were resolved without criminal charges, and stories that involve embarrassing but non-criminal behavior. Serious felonies, including violent crimes, are not eligible, Sternfield said.
Incidents involving public figures and persons in a position of trust will also be evaluated through a different lens.
“The vast majority of our digital stories cannot and should not be altered or removed. However, we acknowledge that some older stories are simply no longer relevant or newsworthy or were not followed to their conclusions. That is where the public can help us become better partners in our community.”
The initiative has the backing of Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.
“Our society is based on the notion that rehabilitation is possible. That people can be forgiven as long as there is accountability,” Gill said. “Journalism is all about holding power to account and creating more transparent communities. FOX 13’s “Moving Forward” policy allows for accountability, transparency, and healing.”