Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Fair and Balanced?

The Daily Evergreen is looking for feedback. News Editor Annette Ticknor said:
We, as student journalists, must ask ourselves daily: Is this important to the reader? Is this the best way to tell people of our community’s stories? Is this story accurate? Fair? Balanced?

And if you don’t see that, call us on it. These are standards you should hold us to as a newspaper.

Call me an idealist, but I think the sole purpose of the Evergreen is to provide members of our community with a diversity of ideas and information so readers can make informed decisions and converse about issues.
Here's what I told her:
I find it ironic that the same day that you run a column that says we in the community should expect accuracy and fair and diverse coverage, you did not run a letter to the editor from a WSU student ennumerating the benefits of Wal-Mart to Pullman that you PROMISED would be in today's edition. You chose instead to run a "Street Talk" piece about Wal-Mart that was mostly negative.

This is not surprising. Your story on the recent appeal hearing completely neglected to mention the results of the fiscal impact study, despite your paper being provided with a press release to that effect.

This is not the only letter to the editor that has been squashed. Two recent letters in support of Wal-Mart were never published either. Two vitriolic letters from Wal-Mart opponents, however, were published yesterday, despite the Evergreen's policy of focusing on issues not personal attacks.

This has been the Evergreen's policy since Wal-Mart announced plans to build in Pullman.

It is your right, of course, to take a strong anti-Wal-Mart stance. Just please spare us all the talk about free speech and journalistic integrity.
Is it any wonder that between the coverage in the Evergreen and the indoctrination from professors that students say "I hate Wal-Mart"?

Let Annette know how you feel at news@dailyevergreen.com

1 comment:

April E. Coggins said...

Given the Evergreen's biased reporting and their supression of pro-Wal-Mart letters to the editor, I wonder how many students they had to interview before they finally found three who were against Wal-Mart in Pullman.