Bad Journalism + Biased Editor = The Gray News

Friday, June 02, 2006

Nathan Tsukroff is biased

As a reporter, Nathan Tsukroff should not engage in political activity. But he does. He circulated petitions for the recall, and he has contributed to political campaigns. Recently, he contributed $200.69 worth of in-kind donations to the Chris Miller Campaign for Governor. Being active in political campaigns is an activity that is usually expressly forbidden.

The following Ethics Codes excerpts are from well-known journalism companies of stature. Decide for yourself:

National Public Radio
VIII. Politics, Community and Outside Activities 1. NPR journalists may not run for office, endorse candidates or otherwise engage in politics. Since contributions to candidates are part of the public record, NPR journalists may not contribute to political campaigns, as doing so would call into question a journalist's impartiality in coverage.

San Antonio Express-News Ethics Code
Contributions to or work for political parties or direct involvement with issues is prohibited for all editorial staffers.

Ethics code: The E.W. Scripps Co.
POLITICAL ACTIVITY
The Company remains independent in all political matters and will not make monetary contributions, directly or indirectly, to political campaigns or causes, or to political parties. They must not serve in elected or politically appointed positions. They must not participate in political fund-raising, political organizing, nor other activities designed to enhance a candidate, a political party or a political-interest organization. They must not make contributions of record to political campaigns nor engage in other such activity that might associate an employee's name with a political candidate or a political cause.

27 Comments:

  • Most of this is common sense, isn't it. Probably the gray area comes when one thinks one's own behaviour either will not get found out, is harmless, or one makes justifications for oneself that one wouldn't extend to others.

    Question: If the politician had paid cash for the service would that have made a difference in this case?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:43 AM  

  • I do not think cash if it was a contribution it would have made a difference. My opinion is based on this excerpt from the NPR code, which says, "Since contributions to candidates are part of the public record,..." The Maine reporting sheets show that tcontributions are considered to be cash and in-kind contributions.
    (http://mainegov-images.informe.org/ethics/pdf/20060502reports/miller.pdf)

    I think the only difference it would have made is if Nathan was hired as photographer and was paid for his work. In my opinion that would have been fine.

    In this case, though, the reporter something of value to the candidate, and this offering of value means the reporter is delcaring a position and is involved with the candidate. Involvement and public positions are things reporters should avoid, not seek out.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 7:34 AM  

  • Who paid for the ads in the Monument supporting the "NO" vote concerning the recent Andrew Upham Recall?

    Were any of these ads contributions from the Monument or Elizabeth or Jeanne Adams?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:55 AM  

  • "Being active in political campaigns is an activity that is usually expressly forbidden."

    What does "usually expressly" mean?

    You have confused the issue

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:57 AM  

  • "What does "usually expressly" mean? You have confused the issue"

    Sorry, did not mean to. Your'e right. I think it is clear from the excerpts of Codes of Ethics that activities such as these are "forbidden" --without qualifier.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 8:00 AM  

  • "Who paid for the ads in the Monument supporting the "NO" vote concerning the recent Andrew Upham Recall? Were any of these ads contributions from the Monument or Elizabeth or Jeanne Adams?"

    Good question! The answer to Jeanne Adams contributing is NO. She was paid for her time as a graphic designer who owns her own company and does this for a living. Like she did for Dick Barter when he ran. And so on.

    The Monument and Elizabeth Prata did not recently nor has ever contributed to ANY political campaign nor has participated in one.

    If someone can find out about The Gray News and who paid for their recall ads that they printed, please let me know.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 8:06 AM  

  • As you already know:

    The {VOTE YES} ads were paid for by the "Citizens for a Better Gray, P.O. Box 1824, Gray, ME 04039

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:15 AM  

  • No, I did not know, thank you!!

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 8:16 AM  

  • are those citizens: Don Crandall and Richard Hall?

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 8:17 AM  

  • The disclaimer
    [Paid for by Citizens for a Better Gray, P.O. Box 1824, Gray, ME 04039] was printed at the bottom of each display ad for everyone to see

    I assumed you knew EVERYTHING about The Gray News,...sorry, my mistake

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:21 AM  

  • Biasbuster asked:
    "are those citizens: Don Crandall and Richard Hall?"

    I really couldn't say

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:22 AM  

  • Thank you for allowing my comments this morning (June 3, 2006)

    When do you plan on stopping this unproductive blogspot of bashing The Gray News?

    Don't you agree that we could spend our precious time being more positive?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:27 AM  

  • you're welcome.
    No I do not think it is unproductive, or I would not be doing it. And from the comments here, others see its value too. Many schoools of journalism actually conduct lessons like these, I think they feel it is a productive exercise as well.

    It is never unproductive for people to learn when and how a newspaper is being biased. As a matter of fact, educating the citizenry is very positive, in my opinion.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 8:34 AM  

  • I have an excellent example of how Nathan Tsukroff, who does writing and photos for the Gray News, has poor ethics.
    Council candidate Dick Walls and I spent time with graphic designer Jeanne Adams of Gray Dove Design, to develop campaign ads, a flyer, and a press release. (Yes, we left a check) Ms Adams was asked to send the press release to all the papers, which she did. The Gray News received it on Saturday morning and by Saturday night Tsukroff had written a derogatory article about it on Paul Proudian's hate blog. He made snide remarks about Adams' integrity. For months that nasty blog has claimed (falsely) that it is in no way connected to the Gray News. There's your proof that it is directly connected.
    The press release was sent to the Gray News, not Tsukroff and not Paul Proudian. Clearly Tsukroff gets his hands on material sent to the Gray News and is free to do whatever he wants with it! He knowingly and deliberately uses his connection to the Gray News to hurt people he doesn't like.
    To the Gray News's credit, they did at least print the press release.
    Most of this blog goes after Ray Clark. In my opinion, Tsukroff has few scruples and is far more dangerous to the public. In fact, I think he will actually take that statement as a compliment, which should give you further insight into his psyche.
    I say this knowing full well that he will now target me viciously in the hate blog.
    But there is no denying the truth of the example above.

    By Anonymous Janet Neal, at 9:53 AM  

  • You say that you are hoping for the readers of this blog to come to their own decisions
    Well, I haveā€¦
    It seems to this reader that you are being very critical toward one newspaper
    Many of your postings are merely splitting hairs with words Actually, semantics

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:55 AM  

  • Yes, this blog is critical toward one newspaper: the newspaper I have seen that is journalistically abusive: the Gray News. This blog is dedicated to illustrating how and why. This blog shows that they are biased according to industry standards, common sense, and normal fair play. I have not seen the Press Herald, NG News, Monument, Lakes Region Weekly, Windham Indeendent, etc to be as blatantly biased on a consistent and ultimately hurtful basis. Hence: this blog.

    It is not splitting hairs to show this by using documents and examples. Minutes of meetings, town charter, codes of ethics are used to substantiate the examples. Using source material is not splitting hairs, it's how you prove your point.

    And I am very critical toward one newspaper because they uuse their position to hurt people. This must stop.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 2:36 PM  

  • PS: and thank you for bringing up 'semantics" because that is the exact point. Ray Clark and Nathan Tsukroff use semantics, parsing language very carefully to denigrate, hurt, cast aspersions, and allege. I give them every credit in the book: they are very good at semantics, and this blog is designed to bust those semantics, to show how using such language in such careful ways leads to bias. So yes, semantics is everything. Thank you for picking that up.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 2:36 PM  

  • I went to Proudian's blog last week and saw that posting by Tsukroff that Janet Neal wrote about here. (It has changed a bit since then) I wasn't quite sure what he was going on about. He does seem extremely preoccupied with The Monument and who might or might not be an employee. I do not understand why he persists in reporting (falsely) that Jeanne Adams was an employee of The Monument.
    Nathan does articles and takes pictures for the Gray News, but says he is not an employee because he has his own business. I understand the correctness of that assertion. He is a photographer by trade and takes pictures for lots of people. They pay him but he is not their emloyee. So, why then does he not understand that the same argument applies to Jeanne Adams. She likewise owns her own business, the graphic design company Gray Dove Design, and does design work for lots of customers, all kinds of people, organizations, and companies. She charges them a fee and they pay her, but she is not their employee.
    She is in business just like he is in business.
    Bottom line, I think he knows this, but he really doesn't care about the truth.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:38 PM  

  • That question has been asked and answered many time yet like you said, Nathan persists. In another case, he wrote in the Gray News that Gary Foster and Elizabeth Prata may be involved in an inappropriate relationship (also false). Later he admitted in the BWG blog that that was only a rumor. So that admission means he prints rumors in his newspaper.

    In another case, he asked Andy Upham if he was opposed to the Fire Celebration (last August). Andy said NO. Nathan printed YES. Months later, Nathan admitted publicly that 'he could have handled that better.'

    What do you call a guy who admits he prints false things but keeps doing it? An Biased Liar.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:43 PM  

  • Janet, thanks for posting that. I had not realized the implications- Nathan can get his hands on things sent to the Gray News, and he can and he does put them on the blog and so that means it's a Gray News blog, clearly, with the connection you drew for me. Thanks for being brave to sign your name- I hope he doesn't be too vicious with you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:57 PM  

  • Thank you Janet. You have more supporters than you know out here in cyberGray. I'm glad you spoke up. It will be interesting to see if you come up on that blog or if you get lambasted in the Gray News. I for one will be watching.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:46 AM  

  • Thank You from another supporter, Janet! I, too, am glad you spoke up. Nathan Tsukroff, {and Ray Clark} admit they print 'falsehoods' but continue to do it anyway? This Blog is wonderful; and clearly holds Nathan & Ray accountable for all of their Lies! All of this information should be even more publicly available! People would have a much better understanding of the Truth!! {Too bad Nathan & Ray don't}

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:15 AM  

  • Dear Biasbuster,
    I enjoy this blog, and I think you do a great job. You present facts and point out falsehoods, and conduct yourself fairly in doing so. You do not use negative language or name-calling, and that gets a lot of respect from me, and I'm sure from others. I'm sick of seeing swears and nastiness, which I frequently find on the BWG blog. You use word-for-word examples, and then support your case by stating what's wrong. I don't know who you are, but I'm happy you're around. Keep up the good work!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:00 PM  

  • why, thank you! That is very nice. It is helpful, too, for me to hear this, because I am trying really hard to stay factual and fair, and if I go off the track, let me know that, too.
    And thanks for reading,
    Biasbuster

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 8:30 PM  

  • This is the most 'refreshing' blog ever! Your efforts are appreciated by Many, Biasbuster!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:22 AM  

  • I think Nathan owes Jeanne Adams an apology.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:04 AM  

  • I agree. That was pointless and cruel.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 11:38 AM  

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