Bad Journalism + Biased Editor = The Gray News

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Foster's biasbust of Gray News on GPLA

Gary Foster said:

As there have been many misunderstandings, mischaracterizations and misrepresentations regarding the Council and Council members since last summer, perhaps it is time to address and clear up some of the innuendo that has been generated and promoted since then.

At the May 6, 2006 Town Meeting, Lynn Olson of the Gray Public Library Association, Claudette Simms of the Library Board of Trustees, and others suggested that Council’s proposal to prepare the Library basement for expansion would cost $511,000, citing estimates from Port City Architecture, and not $200,000 as proposed by Council. This is not accurate.

$200,000 in fact would cover the scope of work proposed by Council. The scope of work proposed by the GPLA and Port City Architecture would cost $511,000. For several years, the Library Board of Trustees has requested that the Council consider expanding the library to meet current space needs. The present Council considered their request and proposed $200,000 for basic library basement renovations, as preparation for expansion, thereby meeting the current needs of the library while allowing time to prepare for a new facility to meet future needs.

The Council did not solicit the services of PCA, nor did we request or were we invited to discuss the basement renovation with PCA. The GPLA, a private organization that does not represent the Council or the Town of Gray, hired the architect entirely on their own, and provided a scope of work and estimate different from that which Council proposed.

The Library is a Town owned facility, and GPLA received no authorization from Council to hire the architect or alter the scope of work we proposed for the basement. The Council merely proposed to appropriate $200,000 to prepare the basic space, which included tiled floor, painted walls, suspended ceiling, elevator, climate control, and code compliant stairway.

Funding for more lavish amenities and for furnishings would then be provided by the GPLA whose stated purpose is, among other things, to raise funds for capital improvements of the Library. This would have met current space needs at a minimal cost to the taxpayers of Gray.

The GPLA, instead of raising money to furnish the space that Council proposed or to fund the scope of work that they proposed, opted to expend funds to oppose the library expansion entirely. In summary, the Library Board of Trustees had requested additional space for the library, the Council responded with a proposal to prepare space for expansion, and the GPLA and Library Board of Trustees successfully lobbied against the expansion.

27 Comments:

  • The people at Town Meeting did not make it clear that the GPLA's PCA report was not the town's. Ray Clark kept reporting it like it was the town's and the town messed up. And worse, he is a library trustee, and too close to the situation. And didn't he used to be on the GPLA, too? He should not report on things that he is involved in. He loses objectivity. Isn't that a rule for reporters? Where can I read about this?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:27 AM  

  • Didn't Gary allude to the fact that there was never a real offer of money? And the GPLA failed immediately in trying to get more. They are just a lobbying group. I liked Gary's line here, "The GPLA, instead of raising money to furnish the space that Council proposed or to fund the scope of work that they proposed, opted to expend funds to oppose the library expansion entirely"

    TRUE!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:32 AM  

  • This is not true:
    "The GPLA, instead of raising money to furnish the space that Council proposed or to fund the scope of work that they proposed, opted to expend funds to oppose the library expansion entirely"

    The GPLA demonstrated due diligence by initiating and paying for the Port City Architect full report of the Gray Public Library's expansion plan
    {how can Gary Foster state the GPLA "oppose the library expansion entirely" ?? }
    Is this his personal opinion or is he representing the Town Council as a whole?

    For Gary Foster to blatantly lie in his letter read at the May 16, 2006 Council Meeting is a travesty to our town and its citizens!

    Bashing the Gray News and Bashing the GPLA does not set well with the citizens of Gray!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:15 AM  

  • because the mission of the GPLA is to support the library. They chose to expend money to oppose the expansion rather than what the council requested, which is to expend money for furnishings. GPLA refused this request, and instead GPLA spent money on a report that was not requested by the town for a building the GPLA does not own. That is not diligent. It is wasteful.

    By Anonymous biasbuster, at 6:38 AM  

  • Hang on guys, Elizabeth used to be a Library Trustee as well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:51 AM  

  • Yes she did. And she resigned shortly after she started her paper.

    The fact is, newspaper reporters should not be involved with what they report. Ray Clark IS a Trustee and GPLA involved person while being a reporter.. He was on the charter commission AND reported on himself. He participated in an illegal executive session and then reported on himself. Ray Clark is unethical. Reporters do not do participate. Ray Clark does, that is why he is biased.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:01 AM  

  • How can Ray Clark have any hope of objectivity when he reports on the library and has a public position on the expansion through his trustee role and GPLA role? Answer: he can't.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:05 AM  

  • and you are wound bit too tightly

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:37 PM  

  • Do you have something to say that is on topic?

    By Anonymous biasbuster, at 5:01 PM  

  • Yes, I do...
    Ray Clark is much like the rest of us that multi-task well
    He can serve on committees and be a trustee and a reporter and an editor and a fine husband all @ once!
    Kudos Ray

    Everybody Loves Raymond {Clark} !!
    Don't-cha-know :-) :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous Reporter 2, at 6:55 AM  

  • did youknow? Reporters are not SUPPOSDED to multi-task all at once? They are supposed to stay away from being a part of the news thay report. If they are a part of it, they lose objectivity and are biased. By admitting Ray participates in the news, you just admitted Ray is biased. Thank you.

    By Anonymous biasbuster, at 8:27 AM  

  • If Liz chooses to cut herself off from being "close" to the people involved in our close knit community ...
    that is her choice -- :-( sad but true!

    I, for one will not do that-
    You can not serve the people or even report about the people without being close to the people

    Here's a shining example:

    Kim Block Ch 13 News Anchorwoman
    See how she cares about people?
    You can feel the love flowing from Kim Block- She is very involved with her community- Reaching out to everyone!

    Ray Clark is the same way... Like a fluffy teddy bear that loves you no matter what anyone else says!
    Liz would do well to emulate these two wonderful people!

    Maybe you have a hard time comprehending REAL Love--

    By Anonymous Anonymous Reporter 2, at 3:58 PM  

  • "If Liz chooses to cut herself off from being "close" to the people involved in our close knit community ... that is her choice -- :-( sad but true! "

    You misunderstand anonymous. 'Caring' and 'involvement' are two different things. Ray Clark is not ethical because he takes part in the news, influences it, and then reports on it. He has lost all objectivity, as a result. Reporters stay apart from the news they present. That doesn't mean reporters don't care about what they report. It's just that they can present in more neturally if they haven't been part of it as well.

    Comprehending 'real love' has nothing to do with the examples of Ray Clark's bias on this blog. That is not a topical comment.

    By Anonymous biasbuster, at 4:23 PM  

  • "takes part in the news, influences it, and then reports on it"

    Liz takes part in the news, infulences it-- of the parking lot hostility laid upon John Welch by Andrew Upham--

    and then DOES NOT REPORT ON IT

    By Anonymous Anonymous Reporter 2, at 5:40 AM  

  • "Maybe you have a hard time comprehending REAL Love--"

    Was directed at you BiasBuster

    By Anonymous Anonymous Reporter 2, at 5:41 AM  

  • BiasBuster said concerning news reporters:

    "They are supposed to stay away from being a part of the news thay report. If they are a part of it, they lose objectivity and are biased"

    So, if said 'reporter' was witness to a house fire {wanting to report this news} saw in her camera lens someone caught up inside-- and there was no one to help but said reporter... should said reporter not help? Thus becoming "part" of the news...

    You think said reporter would loose said reporters "objectivity"??

    I think we would see the HERO in the said reporter --running to SAVE that person! And what a REAL LIFE story REAL NEWS that would be--written in first person for sure!

    The End

    By Anonymous Anonymous Reporter 2, at 5:49 AM  

  • "They are supposed to stay away from being a part of the news thay report. If they are a part of it, they lose objectivity and are biased"

    Question for Bias buster- How does your statement above reflect on the photo of the Monument paper burning published in the Monument paper with identifying information below it --including one's workplace named

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:52 AM  

  • Hello anonymous. You are asking about objectivity and staying apart from the news that is reported, sparked by another anonymous's comment.

    We were discussing The Gray News's penchant for participating in the news they report and how that is an unethical journalistic practice.

    Elizabeth refers to the Code of Ethics from the Society of Professional Journalists. (SPJ) I also did a survey on google and found several more codes used by daily newsapeprs.

    The GN editor is on a town committee as Trustee serving the town, and he was recently Director of the GPLA. It is also true that he was elected to the charter commission in 1999. Ray was also on the town's CEDC while acting as editor. All of these are indicators of participation in the news events that he then turns around and covers.

    Nathan Tsukroff circulated a petition in a political campaign, another event the newspaper participated in.

    All these are wrong to to. Here are parts of the Code which speak to that:
    ------------------
    SPJ:
    Journalists should distinguish between advocacy and news reporting.
    SPJ:
    Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.

    The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.:
    Readers must know that the newspaper that arrives on their doorstep every morning is there to serve them — not politicians of a certain stripe, not special interest groups. That puts the burden on us ... to avoid conflicts of interest or even the appearance of such conflicts.

    Orlando Sentinel
    We seek to treat sources, subjects and colleagues as people deserving our respect, not merely as a means to our journalistic ends.
    -------------
    I think it is pretty obvious that Ray and Nathan are serving other entities, politicians, and themselves when they take part in the enws and then write about it in biased fashion. No real newspaper would have allowed the instances of their active participation, in any way whatsoever. This is why they are biased and have no credibility.

    Hope this helps.

    By Anonymous biasbuster, at 7:35 AM  

  • Biasbuster, you have taken a great amount of time to "goggle" copy and paste exerpts from SPJ code of ethics--Thank You.. this makes our case against Elizabeth Prata's Yellow Journalism crystal clear to all that read this blog

    I'll pick this one you quoted from the Orlando Sentinal:

    "Readers must know that the newspaper that arrives on their doorstep every morning is there to serve them — not politicians of a certain stripe, not special interest groups. That puts the burden on us ... to avoid conflicts of interest or even the appearance of such conflicts."

    After speaking with an overwelming majority of Monument readers over the last several years, they agree with me on this issue

    I have to agree with the Orlando Sentinal
    --------Thank You again Biasbuster----
    For Making MY POINT clear

    The Monument abuses the innocent trust of their readers

    The Monument campaigned for Andrew Upham {during Recall} with Liz's commentaries & Editoials= special interest of political nature

    The Monument's report of Town Council meetings is bias/ slanted and self serving of Liz Prata

    The Monument's Sound Off section is pure insanity to allow neighbors to slander neighbors {under the watchful eye of Liz Prata's screening of what may or may not be printed therein} makes her RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT IS PRINTED

    After all Liz Prata is the EDITOR of the Monument-

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:16 AM  

  • Ray Clark The Gray News lied about the bond GPLA was planning. Elizabeth asked him point blank, if there was a bond and Ray said no, it was rumor. Only when CAUGHT by Elizabeth saying she had the documents, did Ray said 'oh yeah, that bond.' Again it proves that the Gray News lies, and Ray did so to advocate for the GPLA, an organization of which Ray was a part.
    Ray Clark should not participate in the news he reports.

    By Anonymous biasbuster, at 8:22 AM  

  • The way you talk..E.P. is perfect

    OMG

    What kinda rubbish is this??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:33 PM  

  • EP is not perfect but that is not what we are talking about. We were saying that reporters should not participate in the news that they cover. It's unethical because they cannot then turn around and claim objectivity. Readers have an expectation that journalists are presenting the news as neutrally as possible. When Ray promotes a position by participating in it but then also reports it, he fails the reader and also fails the code of ethics that says journalists should remain objective.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:23 PM  

  • I guess what you mean to say is....

    That when EP promotes the position of Andrew Upham VOTE NO and has Jeanne Adams {also Monument staff} stand with the VOTE NO sign in
    {direct violation of election laws being just outside a voting poll}
    in the Monument's campaign effort in front of Ch 13 News cameras---then she reports on it in the Monument she is remaining "neutral" ??

    We know better!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:18 AM  

  • " That when EP promotes the position of Andrew Upham VOTE NO" And when did she do that? I saw nothing in the paper or in her activities that substantiate your claim.

    As to the channel 13 thing, her 'campaign effort' as you call it was as news gatherer interviewing the candidate, alongside another newsgatherer doing the same thing. She was no more 'involved' than channel 13 was. To take your logic, Channel 13 must have been involved with the Upham campaign, too.

    Ray Clark and Nathan Tsukroff makes the news all the time, and then try to claim objectivity. Reporters are not supposed to circulate petitions and take part in campaigns and they dis.

    By Anonymous biasbuster, at 6:44 AM  

  • oh...did you forget your Monument participant Jeanne Adams? We saw her holding a VOTE NO sign
    Does she not work for EP any longer?

    Busted!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:13 PM  

  • No she does NOT work for EP. That has been established. Several times. Meanwhile, Nathan Tsukroff circulated political petitions and acts as a news reporter on the same issue he is paticipating in. This is cited as a no no in every code and is grounds for firing at any reputable newspaper.

    By Anonymous biasbuster, at 8:00 PM  

  • Too bad this 'code of ethics' wouldn't be enforced! Nathan Tsukroff should be fired...but, of course, Gray News is NOT a reputable newspaper..so there you are!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:34 PM  

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