San Antonio's News4SA gets flak after comment about dead body being 'good for ratings'

During a 30-second video clip, someone can be heard saying that getting video of a body pulled from Canyon Lake would be 'good for ratings.'

click to enlarge A comment was captured on a hot mic as authorities searched for a teenager that went missing while tubing at Canyon Lake. - Shutterstock
A comment was captured on a hot mic as authorities searched for a teenager that went missing while tubing at Canyon Lake.
San Antonio's News4SA is facing online backlash after an unidentified person commented in a video clip from the NBC affiliate that getting footage of a dead body being pulled from a local lake might improve ratings.

The incident happened last Wednesday while rescuers were searching for 19-year-old Roiner Alejandro Rojas Pereira, who disappeared earlier this month while tubing in Canyon Lake. On April 14, Pereira separated from his tube and drifted toward a water intake near the lake's dam, the Express-News reports. His body was found over the weekend, according to the daily.

News4SA posted video of the search, which the news outlet covered via helicopter. During the 30-second clip shared on the station's website, an unidentified person can be heard saying the discovery of a body would improve the station's ratings.

"I hate to say this, but man, if we get the part where they discover the body, that would be good for ratings," a man's voice says. "Good for ratings."

News4SA officials didn't respond to the Current's request for comment.

The clip, which has since been removed from News4SA's website, was shared on the r/sanantonio Reddit page, where commenters voiced their distaste.

"I wouldn't call that journalism but it certaintly is news," Reddit user @peanut42 said. "We need to expect better."

Another Redditor, @Automatic_Actuator_0, commented, "Seems like a hot mic over some B-roll they didn't check before posting. A neat peak behind the curtain."

Meanwhile, user @dontbethatguy simply wrote, "Gross."

However, others said they weren't surprised to hear someone in the news media express such a sentiment.

"A news director's #1 rule: "If it bleeds, it leads," user @ Ishaped210 said.

Another user agreed.

"That's how the media works," @Wardenofweenies wrote. "Ratings and money is the name of the game."

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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