Been on Facebook a few years, I get a few “likes” here and there for things I post. But it’s my public CBS 11 News Facebook page, that left me speechless this weekend. I’ve posted everything from fun, goofy posts, to serious information. But nothing has ever gotten the kind of attention, like what I posted on Friday.
Every night, as a news organization, we have a few select slots during the shows that you watch on CBS 11 News, to promote some of the big stories that you will see on our 10 p.m. news that night. “Promo’s”, as we call them, are as much a part of what we do, as the newscast itself. But on Friday, as our producers, and News Director began talking about what information we should use in our nightly promos, to let you as viewers, know what stories we’d have later at 10pm. We realized that from 7-9 p.m. CBS would be airing Christmas and Holiday programs. Rudolph, Elf On a Shelf etc. Most of those in the room at the time were parents. All of them arrived at a rarely seen decision, almost at once, and it was a “no brainer”. We, CBS 11 News, should not air any news promos during those holiday shows, at all. The only story to promote, would be what happened in CT, but the thought of that kind of news promo, popping up in front of any child watching, was appalling. It was that simple.
We immediately made a quick announcement on the air during our 4 p.m. news, and then I posted a notice on my Facebook page, to let everyone know, that on this night, they could cuddle, snuggle, and love on their children while watching innocent holiday programs, without any fear of seeing something pop up about the awful events in CT. Two hours of safety, refuge, and solace. Within hours, that simple Facebook post I put out, grew. Thousands had seen it, thousands “liked” it. Hundreds began commenting. I report on things going “viral” on the internet, but have never been responsible for any of it. Until now. As of this writing, that post has 10,844 “likes”, a staggering 94,880 people on Facebook saw that post, 815 have “shared” the post, and nearly 400 people commented. It says a lot about our viewers, to take the time to say something about us.
From the inside, this was nothing more than a group of news professionals, who are moms and dads just like so many of you, doing what we felt was right. Some will argue we should do that every night. I’d argue that we’d be out of business if we did that. But at times, there are better ways to do things. Or in this case, at times, it’s better to do nothing at all. Nearly 11,000 people “like” the fact, that we did nothing, and I for one, “like” that.