Why did KMOV air Gov. Greitens’ affair story? TV reporter, St. Louis Public Radio editor discuss

Jan 12, 2018

Should the news media have published a story about Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ extramarital affair and his alleged blackmail of a woman?

On Friday’s Behind the Headlines segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed journalism ethics and the process of reporting the affair with Lauren Trager, KMOV’s investigative reporter who broke the story, and with Shula Neuman, St. Louis Public Radio’s executive editor.

The two journalists talked about their varying approaches.

Neuman said St. Louis Public Radio decided not to go forward with a story on the affair, partly because the organization did not have on-the-record sources.

“If the woman wasn’t willing to tell the story herself, then we didn’t think that it was appropriate to let somebody else tell the story for her,” Neuman said.

The unnamed woman made off-the-record remarks to Trager about the affair. KMOV also concealed the identity of the woman’s ex-husband to protect her identity.

Trager said KMOV decided to publish its report after Greitens’ State of the State address because multiple pieces came together, including the governor’s admission. She said the story was also a matter of public interest.

“Given the totality of all of our reporting – the fact that I had spoken to the ex-husband on the record, that I had spoken to the woman off-the-record and the governor’s confirmation, we felt comfortable at that time to move forward,” Trager said.

Listen to the full discussion:

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