Spinning the Mine Safety and Health Administration decision
Word from Murray Energy on how the local "newspapers" should handle an unfavorable court decision apparently took longer than expected. Today, six days after the decision was rendered, the Wheeling Intelligencer finally got around to covering the story. (I previously wrote about this decision here). Reporter Casey Junkins does provide some background for the case along with the judge's overall decision. However, roughly 30% of the article consists of quotes from Murray Energy spokesman Gary Broadbent in which we learn that:
(1) the judge in the case, Margaret A. Miller, "has historically been very biased against coal companies,"
(2) "(n)o one wants to see total employee safety more that Mr. Robert E. Murray," and
(3) the UMWA-represented hourly employees have previously filed "false safety complaints with the federal government to intimidate management." (Junkins then explains a Murray Energy suit against the mine workers' union.)
Junkins' coverage of the decision missed badly on this last point since Judge Miller clearly addressed this claim in her decision (as reported by the International Business Times):
The fine is $30,000 more than the penalties sought by the U.S. Department of Labor, which filed the complaint against Murray in July. Judge Miller said the company “did not demonstrate good faith in abating any violation” and accused Murray Energy of attempting to “intimidate the witnesses” when it filed a separate lawsuit of its own against the union in federal court.
Covering/not covering yesterday's Wheeling Jesuit public discussions
Covered by the Intelligencer with a front-page story:
"WJU Students, Faculty Discuss Refugee Issues, Islamic State"
Not covered at all -- the final presentation in Jesuit's Appalachian Institute's "Jobs with Justice" series:
"Is Right to Work Wrong?" featuring Jesuit professor Hal Gorby and local labor leaders
Do you think that maybe the paper's position on "right-to-work" laws influenced it's decision to not cover the second event?