Wednesday, January 9, 2013

This Would Be a Nice Trend If It Continues

A reporter is only as good as his or her sources.

Anyone who has read about Woodward and Bernstein knows that. The two Washington Post reporters would never have been able to break open Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal without their sources.

One thing that has bothered me about the Livingston Press and Argus in recent months is the heavy reliance on the far-right Mackinac Center as sources for stories. Any report issued by the Mackinac Center usually shows up immediately as the basis for a story or editorial in the newspaper.

It's not that the stories aren't "balanced." The stories generally feature comments from opposing points of view. It's that the stories always start with whatever premise the Mackinac Center report or study or news release is based on and everyone else is asked to react or rebut, as if the Mackinac Center was the exclusive possessor of the truth or their framing of the issue is the only way to view it.

So it was refreshing Wednesday (Jan. 9, 2013) to see the Livingston Press and Argus base one of its editorials on a report from the centrist Center for Michigan's Bridge Report.The editorial encourages Republican Rick Snyder to stick to facts when making decisions, as he promised to do when elected, and takes him to task for relying on phony claims about Indiana's supposed economic successes after it passed anti-union legislation.

As the editorial notes, the Bridge report revealed that claims of businesses relocating to Indiana due to the anti-worker "right to work" legislation were vastly exaggerated.

This approach is refreshing -- and useful for readers interested in multiple points of view

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