NABJ Disheartened by KNWA/FOX24 Reporter Receiving Jail Time
11/20/19 8:54 p.m.
UPDATE: From NABJ President Dorothy Tucker: I’m told Nkiruka was released from jail this evening. The judge gave her time served after turning herself in today, according to a coworker at her station. It’s still unclear if she will have to serve the six-month probation sentence. We’re staying on this incident.
Posted 11/20/19 at 3:32 p.m.
NABJ is disheartened to learn that KNWA/FOX24 reporter Nkiruka Azuka has been sentenced to 10 days in jail with 7 days suspended, 6 months probation and a ban from covering a murder trial in a judge’s courtroom, according to news reports. NABJ believes the sentence is excessive.
As reported by her station, Azuka is being jailed for a simple oversight, that she apologized for, which occurred while working on a news assignment. She stated that she was unaware of a court’s rule that did not permit her to record while reporting on a murder trial. She later confirmed that she did not publish the recordings.
According to her station, it appears there was no ill intent in Azuka’s efforts to simply do her job and ensure accuracy in her coverage.
We advise our members and all journalists to ensure they are aware of federal, state and local laws when it comes to recording in public or municipal spaces.
We encourage newsrooms to also provide training on this issue and we will continue to incorporate such training into our programming.