Wednesday, September 13, 2023

WJCT coverage of St. Augustine leaves much to be desired

Originally posted September 13, 2023, 7:27 AM:

After years of my complaining about our underperforming Jacksnville NPR affiliate, I was delighted when investigative reporter  Al Letson, who grew up in Orange Park, took over for Michelle Ross on NPR's local First Coast Connect after she went to work for beloved Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan.  But WJCT remains mired in mediocrity when it comes to local news.

1.  Hispanic Heritage Month -- one hour broadcast today, unadorned by any reference to St. Augustine, founded in 1565 by Spanish colonists, who created the first free Black settlement in America.  Why?

2. Michelle O'Connell murder in home of St. Johns County Sheriff's Deputy JEREMY BANKS -- thirteenth anniversary September 2, 2023, no coverage. why?  Folio Weekly, PBS Frontline and the New York Times covered the story, but WJCT missed the milestone. 

3. Ignoring overdevelopment and corruption and Fair Housing violations. 

3.  Disrespecting Joan Kroc -- on Saturday morning, station manager David Luckin on Saturday, September 6, 2023 fundraiser, once again refers to "Mr. Kroc" as NPR's beneficactor.  It was his wife, Joan Kroc.  NPR promos mention "the Estate of Joan Kroc," not "Mr. Kroc.  But our mismanaged local NPR station keeps making the same erroneous, sexist misogynist error.  McDonald's CEO Ray Kroc, a conservative, made the money, but credit is due to the Estate of Joan Kroc."

Update:  On September 14, 2023, Luckin made the same mistake again on First Coast Connect, with Al Letson, at approximately 9:55 am.  Later that morning, Luckin corrected himself, crediting "a listener." This listener believes that Luckin's 's been making the same mistake in pledge week breaks for some time. He says he's been with WJCT for 20 years.  Any public radio listener knows that it is the Estate of Joan Kroc, not "Mr. Kroc."

Pay attention, Mr. Luckin.  Read this blog. Tell your staff to stop stiffing St. Augustine and St. Johns County on news coverage.  Otherwise, perhaps we need our own NPR affiliate. 

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