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Separated at Birth: Brenda Starr and NBC 5's Amy Jacobson?

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 10, 2007 4:43PM

2007_07_anna_amy_growl.jpgNBC 5 reporter Amy Jacobson (pictured, right, with NBC 5 weekend anchor Anna Davlantes), who's been covering the story of missing Plainfield woman Lisa Stebic, was caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place over the weekend. Video footage surfaced of Jacobson in a bikini at the home of Craig Stebic, Lisa's estranged husband, on her day off. Before we go any further, kudos to the headline writer at the Tribune for not stooping to the tired "hot water" cliché.

The tape, which was the talk of newsrooms since last Friday, shows Jacobson, Craig Stebic, Stebic's sister, and Jacobson's two children. When asked by her bosses at NBC 5 to explain how she and her bikini found their way to Craig Stebic's, Jacobson said that she was on her way to the East Bank Club with her children when she received a call from Stebic's sister, asking Jacobson to come over and talk about the case. Jacobson was immediately taken off the Stebic story while NBC 5 executives investigate further into what, if any, ethics lines Jacobson crossed.

You mean, just being at Craig Stebic's house in a bikini with her kids wasn't enough? Simply being caught in in this delicate position puts her work in the Stebic case into question. After seeing the footage, Northwestern journalism professor Michele Weldon quoted the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics, which states that reporters "remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility." At the very least, Jacobson exhibited a lapse of judgment. If NBC 5 officials find anything further in their review, she could lose her job.

Image via NBC 5.

UPDATE 7:15 p.m.: Phil Rosenthal of the Tribune reported at 5:13 p.m. this evening that Jacobson negotiated her release from NBC 5. Thanks for the tip, guest #25, although it'd be a lot easier to give you a name if you registered for a commentator profile.