The Wheeling News-Register tells us that they report the news “accurately and fairly”
Yes, that’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of our local Ogden “newspapers”
A month ago, it was the Wheeling Intelligencer. Today, it’s the News-Register’s turn for yet another self-praising editorial. From this morning’s editorial:
Some news outlets, in both traditional media and online platforms, practice what has been called “advocacy journalism.” That is, they guide their coverage in a manner calculated to advance certain policies and assist specific politicians.
But that is not genuine journalism, as Ogden understood. It is not what the people want and need.
For more than one and one-quarter centuries, we at the News-Register have simply reported the new as accurately and fairly as is within our power. No one else has a larger, stronger team of journalists covering our region. Their mission is clear: to give you the local news you want and need in a way upon which you can rely.
Accurate and fair? Really? Two quick examples (of many) suggest the opposite:
Green New Deal: Readers of the News-Register have never seen a simple explanation of this proposal let alone had the chance to read the views of someone who supports it. Instead, we receive near-daily attacks upon the proposal and its supporters on its news pages and especially, its editorial page. How is this not “advocacy journalism”?
Local congressman David McKinley: It would not surprise me that many readers of the News-Register believe that he has run unopposed in his last three elections; his opponents have received virtually no coverage. After the last election, for example, I documented the entirety of the News-Register’s coverage of McKinley’s Democratic opponent, Kendra Fershee:
Last May, after she won the Democratic primary, she was questioned about some of her positions. This summer, she was mentioned when the Democratic headquarters opened in Wheeling. Finally, in September, a reporter attended her local town hall only to ignore most of what she discussed in order to focus on the abortion issue. That's the sum total of her news articles for the last six months.
It should be noted these three mentions are more than McKinley’s previous two opponents received. How was this near-total lack of coverage not designed to “assist specific politicians”?
Actually, Ogden’s regularly scheduled, self-praising editorials suggest just the opposite of what they claim. If your readers know how “accurate and fair” you are, why make such a big deal of telling them on a regular basis? Not unlike the golfer, executive, president or whomever, who must constantly remind us how great they are, we come to suspect just the opposite. In this case, if you report the news “accurately and fairly” to your audience, that’s self-evident – it doesn’t need a periodic proclamation.