Bigger News Hole

November 10th, 2011 · No Comments · Uncategorized

By Arthur Alpert

Yesterday I pointed out that the Wednesday Nov. 9 issue of the Albuquerque Journal lacked three significant national stories. But the news hole was quite small, I noted, so maybe that was the explanation.

I figured we’d get a better idea from the next day’s newspaper.

Well, the Journal published again Thursday, Nov. 10, this time with a bigger news hole.

This edition included what looked like an AP Washington roundup of state and local elections by Tom Raum, a psychologist or psychiatrist. OK, I’m kidding, but consider his lead:

“Voters kept their anger and disillusion in check in state and local elections this week, generally preferring to keep things the way they are rather than join ideological battles at a time of stubborn joblessness.”

Now I’ve never liked the “just the facts” approach to journalism, but Raum’s wild foray into, yes, psychology and, er, other stuff, may force me to join that parade.

Better facts without meaning than baseless blathering.

And the “joblessness” tag to his lead reads like a nonsequitor, self- inflicted.

What’s clear is this was an analysis piece, not a straight news account, reminding us the Journal regularly opts to skip the news – hey, readers probably get it on radio or TV, right? – in favor of a second-day piece that interprets or rebuts.

As for Raum’s analysis, which ran under the rubric, “Change Not a Big Factor in State and Local Races”, it succeeded brilliantly in repainting some very colorful stories in dull gray.

Like Ohio voters’ rejection of the Governor’s assault on organized labor by a whopping 62 to 28 percent. (This was non-ideological?)

And like Mississippi voters’ rejection of a measure to outlaw all abortions and many forms of contraception. (Mississippi voters did that. How long before Hollywood buys the movie rights.)

As for the third story the Journal failed to report Wednesday, Nov. 9, it wasn’t in the Thursday Journal either.

Guess you don’t need to know that a federal appeals court upheld the constitutionality of the 2010 health-care law Tuesday in a 2 to 1 decision, nor that Senior Judge (and noted conservative) Laurence Silberman wrote the majority opinion.

Yesterday, I wondered if the Journal failed to publish any of the three because it lacked space or for “another reason.”

Today, having read the AP Washington “analysis” and having failed to find the Obamacare decision, I choose “another reason.”

But I could be wrong.

Perhaps it was all happenstance, had nothing to do with the fact those stories contradict Journal management’s agenda – its long-time opposition to organized labor, its fondness for social conservative causes and its blatant crusade – in the “news” columns, mind you – against Obamacare.

Perhaps.

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