Charlo Greene went viral this week after she sensationally quit her job as a reporter for Anchorage, Alaska’s CBS-affiliate KTVA.On the air, Greene announced that she owns a local marijuana club, said “F**k it, I quit” and left. Video below.
Greene’s on-air expletive-dropping marijuana-revealing segment is what grabbed most people’s attention. But, an Alaska news site, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, raised the ethics involved in this case.
As the secret owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, who also reported on marijuana legalization and related issues, Greene had an inherent, undisclosed conflict of interest.
“There’s a significant harm, though, in what Ms. Greene did: by reporting on a subject in which she had a substantial personal and financial interest, she undermined one of the basic tenets upon which the public’s faith in journalism is built,” the News-Miner commented.
After Greene announced she owned the club and quit on the air, the station apologized for the f-bomb Greene used in a statement signed by news director Bert Rudman. The statement says:
“Dear viewers, We sincerely apologize for the inappropriate language used by a KTVA [reporter] during her live presentation on the air Sept. 21. The employee has been terminated.”
Greene told the Alaska Dispatch News that she quit on air to “draw attention to this issue” of medical marijuana.
“If I offended anyone, I apologize, but I’m not sorry for the choice that I made,” Greene said.
Greene apparently planned her exit from the station without informing her employers. The Dispatch News pointed out that she told followers of the Facebook page for the Alaska Cannabis Club to watch the broadcast the night she quit.
iMediaEthics has reached out to Greene for comment.