By Denise Tessier
Unlike the Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico Telegraph blogger Matt Reichbach saw the importance of one particular news story from Thursday. The first entry on his “Morning Word” list of stories from around the state today was this:
• As expected, a Republican filibuster blocked the passage of a constitutional amendment to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. Sen. Tom Udall was the sponsor of the amendment. After the vote he said he was “encouraged” by the growing support for the Citizens United repeal.
In contrast, the Journal treated its version of that story with a resigned, ho-hum attitude exhibiting all the signs its editors were focused on the “as expected” aspect of the story – or worse, were downplaying it on purpose.
First it buried the story on the back page of the A section. Then, the Journal’s headline framed the story as a “failure” by Udall (“Udall effort to counter high court rulings fails”) when it should have put the onus on Republican obstructionism, paid for by the very (rich) persons whose political influence the high court ruling protects.
The fault, dear Brutus, lies not with Journal reporter Michael Coleman’s dispatches from Washington, D.C. Coleman’s story this morning was straightforward and complete in both reportage and tone. His previous report Tuesday in advance of Thursday’s congressional vote (“Udall, Senate Dems force debate on campaign finance amendment”) was similarly straightforward and complete.
But editors decided Coleman’s first story this week didn’t even merit the A section. It was banished to the middle of the second page of Section C, below police blotter stories and a photo of a child finger-painting.
How should the Journal have treated this story?