WTVM Falsely Claims ‘40% Of All Deaths’ In Georgia Are Homicides
Things are bad, but not *that* bad. In a wildly-misleading article, news outlet WTVM published that ‘40% of all deaths’ in Georgia are homicides. However, homicides accounted for a mere 1% of all deaths in Georgia last year, despite WTVM claiming it was 40x worse. Explore the full story to see the data yourself, along with how your local ‘news leader’ didn’t correct the claim after we exposed it.
An artistic expression of WTVM’s vice president and general manager, Holly Steuart, superimposed on a colorized image of the news network’s building on Wynnton Road in Columbus, Georgia. The news outlet falsely claimed ‘40% of all deaths in Georgia were homicides’ despite the actual rate being 1%.
Image Credit:
Muscogee Muckraker

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COLUMBUS, Ga. — Local news outlet WTVM recently made a rather laughably-false claim in an article published yesterday on September 5, 2023.

The ‘news leader’ erroneously claimed that ‘forty percent of all deaths in Georgia were homicides.’ 

This is not the first time WTVM has been caught egregiously publishing false information that just-so-happens to support a political narrative.

While homicides have risen here in recent years, they are nowhere even remotely close to what WTVM claimed. Trust us: if 4-in-10 deaths in the state were homicides, you’d really notice.

In reality, homicides accounted for just over a mere 1% of all deaths state-wide in 2022, which is forty times less frequent than WTVM claimed.

How do we know? Actual data.


According to the Oasis Online Analytical Statistical Information System provided by the Georgia Department of Public Health, there were a grand total of 102,431 deaths in the state of Georgia last year in 2022.

Of those 102,431 total deaths, only 1,227 were homicides.

By dividing the 1,227 homicides by the 102,431 total deaths, we get a quotient of 0.0119; multiplying that quotient by 100 gives us the number as a percentage, which is roughly 1.2%. We can therefore conclude that homicides only accounted for just over one single percent of total deaths in Georgia last year, despite WTVM’s misleading and narrative-suiting claim of the problem being a whopping forty times worse than it actually is.

For further context, major cardiovascular disease — the state’s leading cause of death — killed 28,918 people during the same time period, accounting for 28.2% of all deaths in the state in 2022.

Nonetheless, here’s what WTVM published:

An article published by WTVM erroneously claiming that homicides account for 40% of all Georgia deaths. Actual data show that rate was roughly 1% in 2022. Image source: Muscogee Muckraker

The source cited by WTVM, by the way, is a left-wing political activism group funded by Michael Bloomberg. Even so, WTVM’s false claim of ‘40% of all deaths being homicides’ was nowhere to be found on their sources website, either — which really wouldn’t matter, as the second-hand source would have been objectively wrong anyway and would not outweigh the primary source data from the Georgia Department of Public Health that we’ve used here in this article.

It does, however, serve as yet another example of WTVM publishing false information from second-hand politically-motivated activists instead of relying on primary source data from credible unbiased origins. It’s becoming a pattern.

We reached out to WTVM and presented them with additional data from the CDC that exposed their wildly-false claim and asked WTVM the following:

“Will WTVM News Leader 9 correct their egregious error in a good-faith effort to not mislead the public?”

As of the time of this article’s drafting, WTVM has not responded nor updated their patently-false claim. 

We suppose that’s WTVM’s definition of what being a ‘news leader’ in the Chattahoochee Valley means.

Facts are stubborn things — and we’ll keep publishing them, whether city officials and local ‘news’ outlets like them or not.


© 2023 Muscogee Muckraker. All rights reserved.

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There has never been a better time to be a Columbus Police Officer! The Columbus Police Department is a state and nationally accredited law enforcement agency dedicated to protecting and serving the citizens of Columbus, Georgia. Become part of a highly trained law enforcement team focused on building and maintaining strong community partnerships that improve the safety and quality of life for every citizen. Join today and protect the promise of a better tomorrow. ProtectColumbus.ColumbusGa.gov

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