Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Personal Political Agendas Being Pushed On LA Times Website?


I don't know if I have ever posted a comment on the below practice of the LA Times website exposed in first the USC Online Journalism Review - and then picked up on LA Observed, but I know I wrote a number of posts I might not have finished due to my dopamine related typing problems of the past months:

Different rules for LAT website?

Robert Niles at USC's Online Journalism Review blog picked up an exchange in which the Los Angeles Times readers' representative seems to say that headlines on LATimes.com are encouraged to be less neutral or accurate than in the printed paper: "...pushing the facts a bit more than [newsroom] editors want."

The heds that prompted the exchange:

Online edition: 'Book: Bush Proposed Provoking War'
Paper edition: 'Book Casts Doubt on Case for War'

I have seen a number of stories pop up around midnight in which the headlines were so slanted that they amounted to literally lying about what the story actually said, much less the truth of what really happened.

I also recall stories that didn't even make a pretense of being journalism - but were instead partisan attacks that within an hour would be moderated, and then by the time the story actually appeared in the paper, they would actually be able to pass as journalism.

But mainly it is the headlines that all too often slant and distort not just the news, but the actual story itself - which are, of course, two different things. Now as for who is responsible for using the website - particularly at night - for their personal political view points - I don't know. The night editor? The guy who runs the website?

Enquiring cowboys want to know.

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