So here’s the scenario. We get a tip – most likely from PETA – that the state is raiding a building/business that houses animals that are for sale. It’s a legit business that supplies to pet stores and others. The inspectors come out and basically say nothing is wrong. They say the business is treating the animal better than they maybe treating in many homes. They cited the business for one violation – some rusty cages.
We had the video and sound but opted not to run the story. It really didn’t sound news worthy and didn’t make the cut for our producers. I agreed with their call. It didn’t look like a story.
At noon we saw one station lead with the story. We discussed it in the newsroom and it still didn’t feel like a story. They had the same stuff we had. We decided again it wasn’t a story.
Later a PETA person called one of our reporters to make sure we knew of the story. We asked PETA if they had any video of their alleged violations in the business. They said yes and sent us the link.
We figured ok, maybe we have a story and we looked at the video. It showed some animals – mice -being tossed into shipping boxes. There are other animals being packed up for shipment and comments from workers via undercover cameras about how the animals are treated. Hmmm, maybe we have a story.
But then near the end a graphic pops up saying where the video was taken. It says it was taken at a chain pet store. According to what we saw it was not taken at the business that was raised and cleared of animal abuse.
We stood by our decision that it wasn’t a story.
Then at 5 and 6 pm we see all of the stations run the story.
I still think we made the right call. The business was cleared, the video was misleading and we felt there wasn’t a story.
Were we wrong? What did they see in the story we didn’t or were they just filling time?