WTVM Caught In False Report; Lied About Key Info In Blackmon Protest Story
On March 27, WTVM knowingly lied, stating that the scheduled protest surrounding police chief Freddie Blackmon was filed by a ‘private individual’ as they showed a heavily redacted form as ‘proof.’ However, WTVM had already published the unredacted form which exposes their own falsely-constructed narrative. Explore the full story for the revealing details and see how the full unredacted form reveals the full unredacted truth.
An artistic expression of WTVM reporter Katrice Nolan as she holds up a heavily-redacted version of a protest permit filed by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., ℅ Marvin Broadwater, Sr., all superimposed on a colorized image of the City Service Center in Columbus, Georgia. The WTVM report knowingly lied about key information, constructed a one-sided narrative without required context, and purposefully misled the public to impose the network’s own political biases by unethically encouraging the public to attend a political protest.
Image Credit:
Muscogee Muckraker

Residents may voice their concerns for the extreme levels of racial division being used as a political tool by city officers to achieve unjust racial political ends by emailing Mayor Skip Henderson directly at SkipHenderson@columbusga.org, while cc’ing their respective city council members on the email.

COLUMBUS, Ga. — This story goes out to a little news network called “WTVM News LeAdEr 9.”

A story published by WTVM on March 27, 2023 ironically served to expose the network for having published a false report. 

The network knowingly constructed a false narrative to suit its own political biases. By using a heavily-redacted document as ‘proof’, the network lied about information hidden by the redacted document’s blacked-out text. 

The network hoped no one would ever see the unredacted version of the document’s full text as they purposefully hid the information to unethically beef-up their preferred narrative.

Luckily for WTVM, we at the Muckraker already had the full unredacted document and knew exactly what WTVM was doing the very second they started lying.

You guys are busted. Enjoy the article, and buckle up for a lesson in journalistic ethics.


Katrice Nolan, a reporter with WTVM, ran a story on Monday evening regarding the planned protest surrounding police chief Freddie Blackmon. Nolan built a one-sided narrative that gave selective and untruthful favor to Marvin Broadwater Sr., who filed the protest's application form on behalf of the organization Omega Psi Phi. The organization is clearly listed on the form as the party holding the protest. 

However, Nolan knowingly lied to help Broadwater cover up the fact that the organization was responsible for organizing the protest. Nolan did this by displaying a heavily-redacted version of the protest’s application form throughout her video report, holding it up high in the air on display for the audience as she stated several times that Broadwater had filed the form as a ‘private citizen.’ 

Nolan and WTVM, however, had complete knowledge that was an outright lie.  

Knowing with absolute certainty that WTVM had the full unredacted form in their possession, it is absolutely undeniable that Nolan purposefully redacted that information and hid it from the public, as it would have objectively disproved her favored falsely-constructed narrative.

Additionally, Broadwater’s entire backdrop during Nolan’s video interview consisted of Omega Psi Phi’s memorabilia and iconography. Nonetheless, Nolan continued to lie on camera as she built her one-sided preferred version of her falsely-constructed narrative.

Carelessly enough, Nolan also appears to have not realized that her network had already published a partially-unredacted version of the form that clearly shows the words “Omega Psi Phi” typed on the form block labeled “Individual or organization that demonstration/festival is being conducted for or on behalf of.” 

That’s a pretty convenient and dishonest thing to redact, Katrice. 

Additionally, the completely-unredacted and fully-visible original version of the form had already been in wide circulation for several days. The Muckraker, for example, has had it in our possession since last week.

Nolan's move reveals the extreme media bias taking place at WTVM on the issue surrounding police chief Freddie Blackmon — though this is only the first part of the full story.

Before you continue below, here’s the fully-unredacted permit application filed by Marvin Broadwater on behalf of Omega Psi Phi on March 21, 2023, exposing Nolan’s constructed lie of a false narrative as she hid the truth behind her heavily-redacted version of the document:


In his interview with Nolan, Broadwater stated that the reason for the protest was because of the legal “procedure” of how Blackmon was offered his severance package. Broadwater claimed it has “always” only ever been about the “procedure” and was not at all about Jensen Hughes, its assessment of CPD, nor the “strategic plan” Blackmon presented. 

Does anyone believe that? Is this guy serious? 

The Double-Down

In hopes of exploiting the public’s ignorance, Broadwater then doubled-down on his outlandish claim, saying he 'stated this two weeks ago at a city council meeting.' That, however, was an outright lie.

The Reveal

Firstly, Broadwater’s Facebook page plainly shows that he works for the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. Additionally, a post Broadwater made on March 20, 2023 completely contradicts his claim of the protest being due to “procedure.” Instead, his post blames racism for Chief Blackmon’s potential termination. Broadwater made no mention of “procedure” as he claimed in Nolan’s interview. The post was made just one day before Broadwater filed the protest application on behalf of Omega Psi Phi.

You'd have to be an idiot to believe the city is firing anyone because of their race. Ask yourself: did they have a problem hiring them because of their race? Idiots.

Nonetheless, Broadwater blamed race. He did not blame 'procedure.' Broadwater lied in his interview with Nolan on WTVM:

A public Facebook post made by Marvin Broadwater Sr. on March 20, 2023, blaming race for the potential termination of police chief Freddie Blackmon. Broadwater's post contradicts his claim in a March 27th WTVM interview that the protest he filed an application for on behalf of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity was due to the 'procedure' surrounding Blackmon's severance offering. The protest application form was filed on March 21, just one day before Broadwater's contradictory post.

Secondly, looking back on the published video of Broadwater speaking at the city council meeting on March 14, 2023, Broadwater had actually scolded city officials for criticizing the city officer-in-question: Chief Blackmon. Mind you, doing so is quite literally city council’s job — though Broadwater somehow expected his preferred and favored official to receive special treatment. Broadly speaking, Broadwater’s comments made it absolutely crystal clear that he either has no idea how our city’s government legally functions, or he was maliciously stating a slew of untrue things in hopes of driving division over the issue.

Broadwater demanded that city officials not criticize city officers in public whilst he himself did exactly that: criticizing public officials in public. We are assuming Broadwater did this because he is either an idiot or cannot gather his own emotions long enough to form a logical chain of consistency between his words and actions.

Nothing in Broadwater’s comments on March 14, 2023 had anything to do with what he claimed in Nolan’s interview whatsoever. Broadwater lied.

Published Anyway, Unchecked

Nolan openly stated in her report that she had reviewed the footage we just described above. Knowing that Broadwater’s remarks had absolutely nothing to do with what he claimed in Nolan’s interview through WTVM, Nolan published Broadwater’s blatant lie unchecked. Nolan made no effort to present any information to balance out Broadwater’s untrue statement. This is another example of Nolan’s unethical and purposeful misleading of the public through a falsely-constructed narrative.


Nolan also went so far as to encourage the audience to attend the political protest, even telling them to arrive early so they may find good parking. We aren’t sure what planet Nolan is living on — nor her producer nor editor for that matter — but having a newsroom blatantly encourage their audience to attend a political protest they are reporting on is the exact opposite of journalism. In fact, it quite literally meets the verbatim wording  of the profession’s kryptonite:  activism in the newsroom.

You went to school, Nolan. You know better than this. Your job as a hard news reporter is to inform the public of what the protest is about by providing fair and balanced reporting — by placing the interviewee’s statements within a greater context — so that your audience may come to their own well-informed and contextual conclusions. You do not, ever, encourage political behavior by trying to turn an “is” into an “ought.”

Worsemore, doing so by knowingly crafting a one-sided false narrative is the very definition of unethical journalism.


Throughout Nolan’s report, she continued to provide selectively-edited clips of Broadwater continuing to state that the protest — which was in fact filed on behalf of Omega Psi Phi as is clearly typed on the form — was being held because of the legal “procedure” through which police chief Freddie Blackmon was offered his severance. 

By the way, Blackmon is not entitled to a severance. The city is merely being polite. Broadwater’s erroneous claim of “procedure” not being followed is laughable.

However, Nolan again made no effort to report on what the extremely-public and readily-available law actually states about the procedure her own story was entirely based upon. Instead, Nolan selectively allowed Broadwater’s unchecked and unbalanced words to blindly mislead the public into believing that our city’s published law was somehow not being followed by city officials. 

That, by the way, is yet another example of Nolan constructing a false narrative through the omission of information that she selectively chose to leave out of her report. As a result, thousands of Columbus residents now believe either one of two things: the lie that procedure was not followed, or; Katrice Nolan built a one-sided narrative through unethical reporting practices that did not provide context around a subject’s blatant lie.

The physical evidence proves the latter. See the unredacted form above.

Required Context, Delivered

Not only has the law been followed to an absolute tee by city officials, but they have electively chosen to go above-and-beyond.

Newsflash: (1) Blackmon is not entitled to any severance package whatsoever; (2) He serves entirely at the leisure of city council and the mayor; (3) He can be terminated at any time without cause; (4) Council does not have to vote for the mayor to offer a severance that the man isn't even entitled to.

Did anyone at your network even bother to check on that before you misled 205,617 members of the public to suit your preferred narrative? No, they sure did not. 

How do we know? 

Because we do our jobs and read the law instead of blindly giving a platform to a political activist without also checking his words and providing required context for the audience so they do not become misled by only being provided one side of a multi-faceted and complex story.

The Columbus City Charter

If you’re going to publish a one-sided narrative that questions legal procedure while giving a platform to a political activist who doesn’t know the law either, perhaps a proper journalist ought to also explore what those legal procedures actually are before blindly publishing said one-sided narrative. 

That’s ok, WTVM: We’ve got you covered, cited hyperlinks and all. 

The position of Chief of Police is an appointed position of our city’s consolidated government, as dictated by the Columbus Code of Ordinances in Section 1-101, which states:

“The Consolidated Government provided by this Charter shall be known as the Mayor-Council-City Manager form of government. The Mayor shall be aided by City Officers, who, in the performance of their duties, shall be responsible and accountable to the Mayor except as otherwise provided in this Charter, by Georgia Law or by Rules of the State Bar of Georgia. Those persons who are deemed to be City Officers are set forth in sec. 4-300 of this Charter, as amended.”

Section  4-300, as referenced in the last line above, identifies the following positions as city officers:

“The City Officers of Columbus, Georgia shall consist of the City Manager, the City Attorney, the Chief of the Columbus Police Department, the Chief of the Columbus Fire and EMS Department and the Warden of the Muscogee County Prison, all of whom shall be responsible to and accountable to the Mayor of Columbus, Georgia, except as otherwise provided in this Charter, by Georgia law or by Rules of the State Bar of Georgia.”

Section 4-335 then describes the processes through which city officers  must be removed, stating:

“Any City Officer named in this chapter may be dismissed as follows: (1) The Mayor may recommend the removal and dismissal of any City Officer. The affected City Officer shall be served with written notice of his or her removal and given an opportunity to be heard by the Columbus Council. Such removal and dismissal shall be effective when confirmed by the affirmative vote of six (6) members of the Council. (2) The Mayor may remove, dismiss and discharge any City Officer. Such dismissal shall be effective immediately subject to the affected City Officer's right to appeal such action by the Mayor as provided in Section 4-336 of this subchapter. (3) The Council, without a recommendation of the Mayor, may remove, dismiss and discharge any City Officer with the affirmative vote of seven (7) members of Columbus Council voting in favor of such removal, dismissal or discharge.”

Go do a Ctrl-F on that and find the word “severance.”


Perhaps Nolan should acquaint herself with both sides of a story before she stupendously publishes a slew of unchecked false statements from a political activist in hopes of lending credit to her own preferred one-sided narrative. It's becoming a theme.

You knew what we published the morning before you chose to publish your false report.

We know you purposely tried to cover it up by lying.

Follow journalistic ethics. Do your job honorably or not at all. 

Residents may voice their concerns for the extreme levels of racial division being used as a political tool by city officers to achieve unjust racial political ends by emailing Mayor Skip Henderson directly at SkipHenderson@columbusga.org, while cc’ing their respective city council members on the email.

Facts are stubborn things — and we’ll keep publishing them, whether city officials & WTVM like them or not.


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