And frankly, I’m not alone in my feelings towards the organization’s recent social media practices. I’ve been seeing tweets for days directed @the organization, expressing disgust & displeasure for their conduct. People are literally begging for mercy. (We have retweeted some of them)
So what is Arkansas’ premiere tabloid news org up to now?
News broke earlier today that Bobby Petrino had exchanged a great amount of text messages with another young lady in Arkansas, other than Jessica Dorrell, the passenger on his motorcycle when he wrecked it.
Once the story broke, it was a horse race to see which Little Rock news outlet would pounce on it first. Thankfully, I had all my money on KARK. (To my knowledge, they haven’t asked for any ‘likes’ or retweets yet, but there is still time.)
I had already decided that I would not post about this story, but TMZARK is kind of forcing me to. However, out of respect for the Petrino family & the young lady, I am not even going to link to the story here, and instead will only link to a Facebook post that TMZARK made earlier because I want you to see the comments, the overwhelming majority of which are begging TMZARK to stop the madness.
Some of the best ones so far:
- I understand this was a public employee. There is a chance that a lawsuit from Petrino might come out of all this. But seriously, enough is enough. When something really big happens in the case, then post about it. You guys sound like the National Enquirer. Enough already!Honestly, who cares? Why don’t you report some real news? Maybe how the fires from 2005-2012 has affected residents, firefighters and police officers of Mtn. Pine.
- Beat that dead horse!
- Maybe if everyone says they don’t care they will get the picture
- If everryone wouldnt make comments and just ignore it they would probably stop
- Who gives a crap!!! Heard enough about this already!! Find something else to talk about!!!
- Kark is turning into losers:/ Do yall just not get it or wat are yall really that ignorant you get all these negative post but you still keep talking bout the same dumb *@&!
- it’s getting old
- You guys really need to move on from this story or change your website to ArkansasIrrelevancies.com
- And bye bye KARK.
- REALLY!! REALLY!! Out of respect for his wife an family, can the media just DROP IT!! PLEASE!!! It’s over!
- kark how come you didnt post about brett cummins as much as you are doing about petrino??????????????????????????????????
- Are we going to find out how many times he called Dominoes for pizza delivery too??? Give it a rest already KARK. You are seriously making me reconsider you as a serious news agency.
- beat that dead horse even after its buried.!!!!
- I would like to see this much attention given to skyrocketing fuel prices with no disruption in supply! There is no shortage, there haven’t been any international incidents to cause the hike, but prices still soar! Why can’t yall beat that horse for a while?
- This post sounds more like the Enquirer than something from a professional local news station. KARK I am disappointed.
- Y’all done turned into gossip news channel !!!!
- Why did Bobby Petrino text Brett Cummins so often?
I would like to re-issue my call for KARK & the other LR networks to just end the madness. Petrino is gone. The state, by and large, is hurting. This just more sensationalism. It is case and point why the majority of people resent the media. Let. It. Go.
I have tried to warn them for a few weeks now that a backlash was coming. People do not like this stuff.
And I don’t want you people to think I am just obsessed with TMZARK, but I do want you to know I’m not alone in my distaste for their ‘strategy.’ Honestly, I just want them to stop.
You might think the biggest news in Arkansas tonight is the firing of Razorback football coach Bobby Petrino. You are half correct. The real story is KARK’s continuance of their awesome social media strategy–using unfortunate, even tragic circumstances to solicit attention to themselves.
Tonight, Petrino was the victim of KARK’s ‘strategy.’ They posted the following on their Facebook page:
Not exactly a flattering pic, nor appropriate timing/situation to participate in this type of self-promotion.
(If you do not understand how KARK is benefiting from this, please read this story.)
They also tweeted this picture of Petrino & another picture of UA Athletic Director Jeff Long separately, asking fans to retweet the picture of Long if they wanted to see Petrino go or retweet the photo of Petrino if they thought he should’ve stayed.
Which is kind of funny because not too long before this happened, I tweeted:
Promotional idea for
@KARKNews: post a pic of a moving van in front of Petrino’s house, then ask people to RT as prayers!
Look, I don’t want my friends at KARK to start thinking I don’t like them or that I’m picking on them. (I also don’t want to continue to play into their hands by giving their social media accounts all of this free publicity) But this is just too easy, too petty to ignore.
The state is reeling right now. Hogs fans are very uncertain of the future and there are certainly mixed emotions about the Petrino firing.
GIVE IT A REST, PEOPLE.
Here’s a list of our top stories from this week:
- Congressman Crawford called me. He told me his millionaire surtax plan would only break his no-tax pledge if he voted for it–and he does plan to vote for it, if it makes it to the floor of the House–but ‘it would be worth it.’
- KARK continues their assault on journalistic decency. This time, Coach Bobby Petrino was the victim. The Patriot offered heart-felt prayers to Mark Zuckerberg on Coach Petrino’s behalf, per the request of KARK.
- Obama is against judicial review! Except when it fits his agenda, of course.
- Arizona leads the way on education reform. They’ve set the bar pretty high for Arkansas & the rest of the country.
- 2nd episode of Patriot Talk released. A guest & I review the Obamacare Supreme Court hearings.
- Arkansas Business, other blogs pick up on our KARK story. Also, KARK’s news director lies to me, and I explain my outrage further.
- Remembering why we celebrate Good Friday. The day death died.
A few media outlets have picked up on my story from last week about KARK’s grossly insensitive use of the death of 4-year old Caleb Linn to bring attention to their social media accounts.
One story was posted on Monday by Arkansas Business. It was also in their print edition this week.
After reporting the discovery of Linn’s body, KARK posted the following message on its Facebook website: “Click ‘like’ below to send your prayers to the family of Caleb Linn during this difficult time. You may also leave condolence messages below.”
The Facebook post suggests rather boldly that a click on the TV station’s social media page not only is the same as a prayer, but is also a way to send that prayer to a bereaved family at a site more than 140 miles from KARK’s office.
Very well said by AB’s Kate Knable.
A local blog, Arkansas TV News Watch, also picked up the story.
I had been considering making some follow-up comments and now that the story has gained some more attention, it seems it is appropriate to do so.
After my original post about KARK’s use of Caleb Linn’s death, I had a few questions from our readers about why I was so upset about this: ”What is KARK gaining by asking for people to share the story and pray?” I had a few more questions after KARK’s second offense regarding Coach Bobby Petrino earlier this week. So it occurred to me that everyone may not be aware of exactly how some of these social media functions work. Let me attempt to explain.
First, Facebook: When KARK asked people to ‘like’ and comment on their post about Linn’s death, they were asking for much more than the click of a button and a few words of sympathy. Depending on your Facebook settings and the settings of your friends’ accounts, your ‘likes’ and comments will most likely appear in your friends’ tickers & possibly even on their newsfeeds. So every time someone responds to the post, a few hundred of your Facebook friends see it and, ideally, flock to KARK’s page. It’s called free advertising. It’s why business & organizations use social media.
Now, let me explain the implications for Twitter: KARK was asking for ‘retweets’ of this story from their Twitter account. Retweets are a process by which Twitter users click a button and redistribute another user’s update to all of their friends/followers. So in this situation, users would ‘retweet’ KARK’s post and it would be sent out to anyone who follows that user. It would include KARK’s name and, ideally, KARK would gain followers from the redistribution of the tweet. It also served to drive traffic to KARK’s website. More free advertising, hidden under the guise of ‘prayer.’ (which is another problem within itself–abusing the concept of prayer)
So I hope now that those of you who are not as social media savvy can see more of a complete picture. I apologize for not explaining this further on the front-end of this story. Sometimes I assume that everyone is as zombified by social media as I am.
Now you can see that the insensitivity runs much deeper than the semantical awkwardness of asking someone to ‘like’ a story about the death of a child–even though that in itself is plenty offensive. KARK is receiving a real benefit for what they are doing. Regardless of their motives, in reality, they are using the death of a 4-year old child for self-promotion. It’s exploitation and it’s disgusting.
Arkansas Business also reported that they have contacted the GM of KARK for comment on this situation. If they respond, we will have the full statement here.
Of course you remember my post last week about KARK’s exploitation of the death of a 4-year old. Well, their insatiable appetite for shameless self-promotion couldn’t stop there.
Today, the lovely folks at KARK posted this heart-felt request for support for Razorback football Coach Petrino upon news of his accident:
Keep in mind this was well before any information had been released about Coach Petrino’s condition. We literally did not know if he was dead or alive. But, who cares! ”LIKE” away!
One of The Patriot’s contributors has now been blocked from KARK’s Facebook page for calling this post into question. So it is very good to know that KARK also believes in free speech, which they make millions of dollars off of every year!
In closing, please turn to #119 & let’s all pause as we ask the Facebook gods to bless Coach Petrino by sharing, liking & tweeting this blog post. Bless him, Mark Zuckerberg!
[On a serious note: this is just truly disgusting journalistic snobbery & insensitivity. I wish Coach Petrino all the best in his recovery and I will truly pray for him, not just click a button online to make myself (and KARK) feel good.]
Contact KARK and let them know what you think about this type of self-promotion.