How Sacramento's Channel 13 News Flubbed Their 'Escort' Story

April 2, 2014 | Yesterday, Sacramento's Channel 13 News reporter Tony Lopez filed a story about one of Elk Grove's newest bu...

April 2, 2014 |

Yesterday, Sacramento's Channel 13 News reporter Tony Lopez filed a story about one of Elk Grove's newest business enterprises, Ricky's Escorts, that was rife with errors and was nothing short of just plain lazy reporting. (See video below)
The actual location listed on Ricky's Escort FBN statement.

Consider the following:

1. The location shown in the report was not the same as the address listed on Ricky's Escorts' Fictitious Business Name Statement filed with Sacramento County. Lopez and crew shot video of empty space at the Big Lot's shopping center located at 8535 Elk Grove Blvd. The address listed on the Ricky's FBN statement was clearly 8690 Elk Grove Blvd.

2. In describing a comment posted related to the story, Lopez incorrectly identified the source of the story as "the Elk Grove newspaper." Had it been the Elk Grove newspaper, as a professional courtesy Lopez should have cited the exact source. Had it been the Citizen, Lopez should have said so. In this case, it was not a print outlet, rather it was a hyper-local news site.

3. According to a reliable source, Lopez and Channel 13 were tipped off to the story by scoping it on the hyper-local news site that first reported the filing. While scoping other news sources is nothing new, it does show how little, if any, enterprise reporting is conducted by local TV news organizations. Tony Rogers says "enterprise reporting involves stories not based on press releases or news conferences. Instead, enterprise reporting is all about the stories a reporter digs up on his or her own, what many people call “scoops.” Locally, think of Mayor Davis' recent self-promotion of his coffee venture bought with proceeds from the sale of his Starbucks holdings. Do you think Channel 13 and KCRA news reporters dug this up on their own or were "tipped" by a well-timed press release?

Granted, Lopez put a humorous spin on his story, but that is no excuse for sloppy reporting. Furthermore, Lopez was not involved in anything close to enterprise reporting.  

So it goes with local TV news reporting. 

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Ricardo Tubbs said...

The press around here in Cowtown is ripe for manipulation, just like what happens to the electorate everyday.

Unknown said...

Ricardo Tubbs, this is totally true!

Anonymous said...

Was it "lazy reporting" when the first EGN story published the address as 8601 Elk Grove Blvd., which doesn't exist and isn't even on the same side of the street as the real location? Even though the fictitious name application with the correct address was attached to the story and channel 13 could have looked at it, I find it amusing that EGN is criticizing channel 13 for having the wrong address.

Lynn said...

EGN had the county application the location/picture was correct. EGN brought this situation to light...would channel 13 of even discovered it on their own?

Anonymous said...

That really isn't the point. The whole gist of this story by EGN is that channel 13 had the wrong address. EGN also had the wrong address in their story. It's hypocritical for EGN to call out another news report for being wrong without at least acknowledging that they also made an error.

Anonymous said...

So EGN typed the wrong street number....big deal! I didn't catch it when searching for the location because I used the legal document address. As for Channel 13...they did a live story, talked to people on the street & in stores leaving a whole strip mall in confusion. Nothing hypocritical about was a simple typo.

Anonymous said...

I love EGN for bringing these stories to us, but have to agree with Anon 8:14 this time. Accuracy in reporting is essential and "a simple typo" can have serious ramifications. What if there was a drug bust at a house near you and a news source made "a simple typo" and published your address? You wouldn't be so forgiving. I think the bigger issue here is whether channel 13 was accurate in reporting that Ricky's Escorts is nothing more than an innocent limo service. I'm afraid THAT's the bigger inaccuracy in the story, not the location.

Edward Hopkins said...

Perhaps EGN is just following the precedent this city and mayor have established for never taking accountability for their actions/inactions. The list is very long. Nothing like the pot calling the kettle black or those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, as Pat Hume would say.

Gary Webb said...

EGN, it sounds like you wrote the wrong address in your story, but the accompanying documentation confirmed the address. A small typographical error, but an error nonetheless.

As for the haters, it comes with the territory. Whenever you upset the apple cart, the establishment politicians and their other media hacks will come after you like Jesse Katz and the LA Times came after me.

Anonymous said...

Must be a very very slow week for news for EGN and Channel 13.

Anonymous said...

I agree that local news stations do a poor job of reporting facts. They more or less want to tell a story; without providing any substantial background or concrete facts. This story is no different. They take an idea from some other news source; put a cute spin on it; then sign off. Of what significance is the story? How does it tie to anything? Why was it important to tell us? Plain and simple, the news stations are trying to fill up 60 minutes of local news and any old story will do. Rarely do local channels dig for stories...they have them handled to them...for example Channel 13's "Call Kurtis". Hell, they have people calling them and providing a juicy story...just sit back and wait for the phone to ring. I believe this is poor journalism. JMO.

Anonymous said...

The headline of the article should read its not their.

The mistake doesn't bode well for your credibility while pointing out another media outlet's mistake.

SteveB6509 said...

The bottom line: The more stories like this are publicized, the better it is for accountability in Elk Grove. By urinating on an organization trying to bring this issue to life, this accountability is hurt. EGN: recognize that Ch. 13 is on the same side as you and stop considering them as the competition. If you are truly interested in visibility for these issues, you should be glad Ch. 13 picked it up (even if imperfectly), not banging over the head with your "I discovered it first" stick. You do good work in Elk Grove but this story was very immature,

Anonymous said...

Maybe we have beat this dead horse long enough and could move on to more mature things.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Steve and am grateful Dan is paying attention otherwise no one else would be.

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