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KCTV discharged from medical center - Broadcasting & Cable

KCTV discharged from medical center

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The University of Kansas Medical Center said it will end its relationship
with KCTV(TV) Kansas City over the station's reporting of the location -- or
from the location -- of crime victims during treatment. This means the hospital
will no longer share with KCTV reporters the conditions of newsworthy
patients.

Hospital spokesman Dennis McCullough said local stations have routinely been
more discreet, but that on two recent occasions, the hospital feared for the
safety of witnesses to violent crimes, as well as hospital staff, during the
witnesses' treatment.

"We're not saying they don't have the legal right" to report the location of
someone under treatment, McCullough said, nor did he expect a blanket ban on
such reporting.

McCullough said he's contacted victim's-rights groups, as well as other
medical facilities, for support.

"We don't negotiate journalism," news director Regent Ducas said. "These are
decisions we make case-by-case."

Ducas said an article in The Kansas City Star on the boycott was
the first he'd heard of any potential danger to patients, adding, "There's
absolutely no proof our report put anyone in danger."

General manager Kirk Black said there's no policy for or against live shots
or reporting where a victim has been treated, and he and Ducas said patient
safety comes first. "But we want to reserve the right to make that decision,
rather than agreeing to a policy against it," Kirk said.

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