Old Drum

Commentary on Warrensburg, Johnson County and Missouri issues from a Libertarian perspective. View my earlier commentary at www.olddrum.net.

Friday, July 07, 2006

All the News They See Fit to Print?

Did you see the letter in today's DSJ? The one from Robin Scully's atttorney which essentially accused the DSJ of shoddy journalism? In essence, it says that they printed a press release from the Prosecutor's office as a news story and, not only wouldn't check with the defense attorney, but wouldn't print anything showing a second side to the story.

This isn't the first time there's been some questionable material presented as news. Back in 1997, during the run-up to the zoning election, the DSJ printed a series of "factual answers" about the zoning plan, written by the chairman of the zoning board. The opposition had to buy ads to refute these "factual answers." If you're interested, I still have the info at Olddrum.net. A few months ago, an article criticizing President Bush was printed without identifying it as opinion or identifying the author as a local Democratic Party activist and "strategist." These are a couple off the top of my head.

Now, I don't know any more about whatever details of the Scully case may be under dispute. I do know that the evidence gathered was thrown out, and with it the case against Mr. Scully. It would have been nice to know the details.

I've never claimed to be a journalist and was always more comfortable doing "commentary" than news in the infrequent items I wrote for the late and lamented "Warrensburg Free Press." Nevertheless, when doing news or candidate interviews I tried ot keep my personal opinion out of the article (and yes, it's hard sometimes). I believe that the press has the duty to present unslanted news (vs. opinion or "analysis"), and that it has even a stronger duty to balance what it may inadvertently slant.



  • At Friday, July 14, 2006 4:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    about time some one said something about our local paper!!!! what a rag it is. Yet i still subscribe. i hope whoever inherits the paper actually has journalism experiance for a change


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