Skip to main content

So Much For Journalistic Objectivity

As a media relations “flack” in the nuclear energy industry for the past few years I’ve run across all types of reporters. And for the most part, I'm impressed with the way even the most liberal reporters treat the subject of nuclear energy with professional objectivity.

But there are others that aren't quite so objective, including one unidentified reporter for the The Journal News in White Plains, NY who thought his own voice wasn’t enough and that other journalists weren’t bashing the industry at the appropriate level.

One of the competing reporters he tried to sway was Rita King of the North County News:
When I got to work this morning, I found a voice mail message from a Journal News reporter who wanted to talk about “our favorite glow-in-the-dark place.”

I wondered what he wanted, because he e-mailed me the day before and I hadn’t had a chance to respond yet. His intentions were ambiguous until the conversation got underway. He wanted to school me on how to write about Indian Point because, he revealed, a “number of folks” had asked him to contact me in response to a perception that my “tone” isn’t as hard hitting they would like, and seems to favor the nuclear industry and Indian Point.

He’s a fan of my work, he said, apparently in an attempt to soften the jab.

When the competition calls to tell you to sharpen up, it’s safe to read between the lines.

And to her credit, that's exactly what she did.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…