sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Pin me.

I read with interest the executive summary of the TRC report. I encourage average citizens to read it, because it answers many questions that articles and editorial positions by local media don't.

What caught my attention was the report's analysis of the media's role in covering the event and its aftermath:

"The media played an important role in the community's response to this tragedy. While newspapers fulfilled their duty to report the basic facts of the event, in general we find the mainstream newspapers failed to provide in-depth coverage of the context of the shooting. There was little coverage of why the conflict happened in Greensboro or of police involvement. Rather, the daily coverage tended to focus blame on the two 'outsider extremist' sides: the CWP and Klan/Nazis. On the other hand, we found the weekly African-American-owned Carolina Peacemaker with a predominantly African-American readership provided more in-depth contextual coverage, better allowing its readers to decide for themselves the meaning of the event."

But notice the list of in-kind donors at the end of the report. In-kind donations include "gifts for our volunteers, hosting our website, providing images, and text from newspaper coverage, meeting space, food, assistance with security for our events, technical services and equipment for our public hearings and television programs."

Every local print outlet is listed as an in-kind donor: The N&R, the Peacemaker, Yes! Weekly and, somewhat surprisingly, The Rhinoceros Times.

OK, I realize that the publications' participation is probably limited to "text and images from newspaper coverage."

But does that participation, on whatever level, compromise objectivity when covering and analyzing the report?


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