Bad Journalism + Biased Editor = The Gray News

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Hot air pumps Clark

April 28, Ray Clark wrote:
Rally pumps Upham-but was it legal?

A rally Monday on the Stimson Hall steps in support of Town Councilor Andrew Upham appears to have been illegal

BUST: It was not a rally. It was an interview by Channel 13 of Mr. Upham.
BUST: "Appears to be" is not news reporting. Either it was, or it wasn't. If it was, cite why. If it wsn't, do not bring it up. To bring it up but leave the incorrect impression in readers' minds is biased reporting.

Among the supporters were representatives of The Monument Newspaper, which has styled itself an expert on election law and which has supported Mr. Upham.

BUST: All three are incorrect. Channel 13 and The Monument were there as news gatherers.
BUST: The Monument had not publicly endorsed Upham. The Monument had not given any indication that it is a 'supporter'. Yet the Gray News failed to report that it was part of the recall itself. Extreme bias.
BUST: A reference to 'styling itself on election law' has no reason to be in the article. Mr. Clark's failure to back up the sentence with a fact is biased reporting.

"Portland television channel 13 covered the event, apparently called by rally organizers."

BUST: It was not an event. It was called by Channel 13. It was not called by rally organizers, since it was not a rally.
BUST: 'Apparently' is not a proper news word. Either it was or it wasn't. A good reporter would have verified the fact and then stated it neutrally.
Omissions are also biased reporting. Mr. Clark fails to mention that recall organizers were also called by Channel 13, one of whom refused to speak on camera. Presenting only one side of an issue is biased reporting.

"Council Chair Gary Foster was called to disperse the rally, but arrived too late to stop television coverage. In February and again in March, Mr. Foster had ejected citizens gathering petitions from the Gray Public Library, citing a personnel policy.
BUST: Mr. Foster arrived after the short interview conducted by Ch. 13 was concluded.
BUST: The last sentence has no bearing on the issue Mr. Clark is reporting on. When reporters reference facts that have no bearing on the issue at hand, and arrange them in an incorrect manner it is biased reporting.

This is actually very clever biased reporting, since none of the article's stated facts are true but it is written as if it was.


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