Georgia Unfiltered

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01 October 2013

11Alive Covers TomorrowWorld Three Months After Their Editorial Staff Deemed It Not Newsworthy

Like it or not, Georgia Unfiltered is part of the media.

. . . other websites recognized early on that Tomorrowworld was a special event worthy of being documented, while the editorial staff at WXIA-TV just shrugged their shoulders . . .

We get many of the same press releases, emails, and advisories that mainstream media outlets receive. And while we'd like to cover every event, much like other media outlets, Georgia Unfiltered has finite resources and must decide which events to cover and which events to pass. Decisions like these are editorial decisions that are made based on the news cycle and whether editors believe certain topics will interest their publication's readers.

Three months ago, when TomorrowWorld organizers announced they were bringing the three-day festival to metro Atlanta, Georgia Unfiltered made the editorial decision to cover the event. We recognized early on that TomorrowWorld was a special event; an event with the potential to unite thousands of electronic dance music (EDM) fans hailing from all across America and around the world.

11Alive, the Atlanta NBC affiliate, decided differently.

When TomorrowWorld organizers sent word of a media availability at the festival site, Georgia Unfiltered immediately signed up. 11Alive was nowhere to be found.

When, on 3 June 2013, the operations managers and project directors of TomorrowWorld appeared before the press to answer questions about the festival, Georgia Unfiltered was there. 11Alive was nowhere to be found.

The editorial staff of 11Alive, WXIA-TV Atlanta, deemed TomorrowWorld not newsworthy. Three months ago, the editors at WXIA-TV came to a different editorial decision than Georgia Unfiltered, and decided they didn't believe TomorrowWorld would be a topic of interest to their viewers. That's fine. It is their prerogative to cover and report events of their choosing.

Then TomorrowWorld arrived; and 11Alive suddenly reversed course and decided the "Olympics of EDM" was newsworthy.

However, 11Alive's news wasn't the stories of 140,000 people from around the world coming to Atlanta. 11Alive's news wasn't the massive amount of planning done by TomorrowWorld organizers and local governments to ensure a smooth-running event over three days.

11Alive's news was drug use.

In Atlanta.

A major metropolitan area.

Seldom a day goes by when drugs aren't used in the major metropolitan area that is Atlanta, but 11Alive felt their viewers needed to know anyhow.

11Alive then followed up their exclusive, award-winning coverage of drug use in Atlanta with news that TomorrowWorld would be back in 2014.

Again, if 11Alive had simply made the editorial decision that TomorrowWorld was newsworthy three months ago, the Atlanta television station would have been present when Bruno Vanwelsenaers, Managing Director for the TomorrowLand festival in Belgium, announced, "It's not our plan to move around. We chose this venue. We're very happy, and we're here to stay."

Georgia Unfiltered was present and caught the words flowing from Bruno's mouth on tape. 11Alive was nowhere to be found.

Quite frankly, 11Alive's coverage of TomorrowWorld is an insult to the blogs, media outlets, and other websites who recognized early on that Tomorrowworld was a special event worthy of being documented, while the editorial staff at WXIA-TV just shrugged their shoulders.

A recent poll said a record number of Americans have a high-level of distrust in the mainstream media. It is increasingly difficult for the public to trust the mainstream media when they can turn to alternative sources like Georgia Unfiltered and get the information they desire without having a bad taste left in their mouths.

Make no doubt about it, 11Alive's coverage of TomorrowWorld left a bitter taste on the pallets of the thousands of EDM lovers who have now seen the television station's coverage. Those EDM fans now distrust WXIA-TV.

EDM fans don't trust 11Alive, and why should they? 11Alive deemed fans of EDM not newsworthy three months ago, then came back and portrayed those same fans as drug-addicted lunatics.

How does that build trust?