Thursday, March 17, 2005

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.

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