Sunday, July 27, 2008

BFF's Don't Report on BFF's

It's a small town. Reporters develop friendships with people in high places. Real reporters keep the evidence out of their stories. Laura Schmid seems unable to do that. This is how she reports one school board member's comments during a debate on whether to re-up with Florida School Boards Association:

Board chairwoman Karen Chancey diplomatically oberserved that she understood the arguments for both sides. [...] She pragmatically observed, "We can always rejoin again."

We're glad Laura likes Karen, but it's wrong to work her personal opinion about her BFF's diplomacy and pragmatism into her reporting.

Schmid's journalistic sin is especially heinous during election season.

And one more thing. Because this is Old Word Wolf's blog and opinions are permitted, OWW is reproducing this sorry quotation from an earlier post, just to keep it fresh in the minds of readers who might like to know what's happening in local science classes:
"My personal belief is creationism and I believe it should be taught along with evolution because our students should have a choice," said DeSotoCounty School Board member Karen Chancey.

No wonder DeSoto County schools' FCAT science test scores have headed south.


  1. I'm not seeing where you get that they are best friends. The reporter is quoting what is being said. Is it her selection of descriptive words (pragmatically?) that leads you to beleive they have a friendship? All I see is a writer using too many big words to describe what is going on.

  2. The reporter is most definately not quoting what's being said. She's adding her own "spin" to the quote. She first tells the reader the speaker is speaking diplomatically and then gives a quote. Maybe the speaker was being sarcastic or ironic? Schmid's insertion of the adverbs "diplomtically" and "pragmatically" reveals her apparent biases.