As I sat in my hotel room in Orlando, Fla. last week channel surfing the television between CNN and Fox News, I saw and heard familiar sights and sounds about my hometown. Fayetteville made the national news. However, this was not the type of notoriety we could take pride in. A young female soldier from Fort Bragg, seven months pregnant, and just back from her last duty station in Germany was found needlessly slain at a local hotel. How tragic.
    It is horrific tragedies like this that make national stories and sensational headlines. So, the expected influx of national news media has arrived on our doorstep, bringing with it lots and lots of negative publicity for our community in the months, perhaps year, ahead. This is not good, but at least, it is understandable. {mosimage}
What is less understandable is why our community is treated so unfairly by Time Warner’s News 14 Carolina. They claim to be our “local” television station but use the Fayetteville/Cumberland County community as their personal “whipping boy” for negative “if it bleeds, it leads” news coverage while showcasing other areas like Cary, Raleigh, Durham and the Research Triangle as the epitome of tranquil neighborhoods, innovative businesses and extreme quality of life. Ridiculous, you say? Tune in and watch it for yourself.
    Last Tuesday News 14 Carolina aired four back-to-back news stories all reflecting negatively on Fayetteville and Cumberland County. These were immediately followed by positive, personal interest stories about people and events in Durham, Cary, Raleigh and the RTP. I may be a little oversensitive about this, but hey, give me a break here! We appreciate Time Warner’s presence in our community but Time Warner should show more respect to us as a community. I’m not saying they should not report the news. I am saying that they should be fair, balanced and sensitive to all the communities they serve. After all, unlike all the other markets they cover, Fayetteville does not have a local TV station or local radio stations with real news departments. In other words, Time Warner has no competition and we have no way to defend ourselves.
    Fayetteville is a great community with no more, or no less, of the trials and tribulations found in any other North Carolina municipality. We take great pride in our community and ask only that the media be fair in its coverage. Especially, since we are paying for the privilege. Cable television is not “free.” As a customer this is not too much to ask from a company whose job is to report the news and inform the public.
    Thanks for reading Up & Coming Weekly. We value your opinions and hope you will share them with us. I can be reached at [email protected]
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