Bad Journalism + Biased Editor = The Gray News

Monday, May 29, 2006

Clark should not be so involved, that's when bias happens

On December 16, 2005, Ray Clark wrote:

"Essentially, he suggested that the Council would be amenable to spending about $160,000 to provide what he called "white space" for Library use. He said the plan would add 3,200 square feet of Library space; others estimate only about 2,200 square feet would result."

BUST: What “others”? From what source? Are the ‘others’ authoritative? Is it Ray’s poet brother in Peoria or a knowledgeable contractor? And why did Mr. Clark fail to cite the source? Is it made-up? These are questions readers have when anonymous sources are used in an article. Mr. Clark should not use anonymous sources. The point of a news article is to present facts, not indefinite insinuations with no source.

"The Gray Public Library Association, a fundraising group dedicated to supporting the Library, met on Thursday to discuss the Council's offer."

BUST: Using the word “offer” is a misleading term. The council did not make an offer. They were not negotiating with the Trustees. The Library Trustees are a town committee whose boss is the Council. The meeting was to inform the trustees of the council’s plan, not to make an offer. Mr. Clark should be more neutral in the words he chooses, and ensure that they reflect the actual situation and not color it with his own bias. Mr. Clark is involved with the issue, both as a Trustee and a GPLA member at that time. That is why he is biased. He is involved.


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