If you talk with me on Facebook, you may have noticed I'm working on a story about placenta. In fact, I'm still tweaking parts of it before it airs tonight at 11.
In case you missed it, here's the promo:
So, we've already had a few complaints... which I think is interesting since the story hasn't aired. Take this one, from "Rick":
"Will you SHUT THE HELL UP about women eating their own placenta? I mean really, while we're eating supper, watching the news, it was mentioned over, and over, and over again like a broken record. This was not only in poor taste, it is downright nasty and disgusting! I am appalled that your newschannel did this. My entire family could not have been more offended. Unbelievable, simply unbelievable."
I'm sharing this with you because long after the story airs tonight at 11, it will live on the internet forever. And when it does, I want people to read about the decisions I make when it comes to a story... and the decisions WE make as a news station. So...here's my reply:
First of all, thank you for your email. We take the concerns of our viewers very seriously.
I can assure you, as the reporter who did this story, that we are trying to educate our viewers on a potentially life-saving practice. It may sound gross to you, but some women claim consuming placenta is providing help where modern medicine is not.
Postpartum depression is a very serious issue in this country. North Carolina is also proud to be the first state in the country to house a clinic devoted solely to postpartum issues--it opened just a few weeks ago.
It took months for this story to come together, and we took great care in showing video that was appropriate for our viewers. If you plan on watching the news at 11, I want to warn you… we will show placenta being processed. However, we carefully decided those images depending on the organ’s appearance. For example, we show pieces of placenta being cut-up, but since it no longer resembles the organ in its true form, we decided to air it.
Some people may be grossed out by our story, but we are truly hoping it can educate our community on what’s trending and what could potentially help others. If we told you it could save a woman from killing herself or harming her baby… isn’t it worth listening to? We believe so. Even a doctor said the idea is worth exploring.
I will say… in the promo you watched, there is no mention of “eating” a placenta. And the shot we used shows the woman ingesting “something”… but you don’t see what that “something” is. I can’t speak for our promotions department, but I can assure you they have integrity when it comes to writing teases. They want to evoke emotion and get you interested in a story… but they are not trying to offend.
If you have any more concerns or comments, feel free to write me personally. I hope you’ll join us at 11 with an open mind.
I'm sure I'll get more exciting emails, but I wanted to put that one out there before the story airs. And I don't think Rick is a bad guy for writing us... even if it started with "shut the hell up".
On another note, we will be sharing more graphic video and pictures online because we want to make the information available. We know we can't air everything... but the internet can allow us to get more indepth.