Thursday, January 13, 2005

Not Right gets one wrong

Last night I received an e-mail from Daily Advertiser reporter Jan Risher. I had gotten to know her earlier last year through a mutual friend. As a fellow (albeit wider-read) columnist, she introduced me to the National Society for Newspaper Columnists (NSNC!) and thanks to her efforts I was almost able to attend a national columnist convention with her, had a personal financial crisis not hit me right at fee time. I enjoyed the rapport with someone who knew the ins and outs of my chosen aspiration. It was good to know someone who had written all over the country. We hadn't corresponded in quite some time, so I was surprised and happy to hear from her. She took issue with what she said was my misquoting her in my Dec. 5 post. The relevant portion of the e-mail (subject: not right) follows:

I was curious to see why my name would be in your blog. So I clicked, scrolled down and was surprised to find that you had attempted to quote me, but it didn't appear that you chose to quote me correctly. I didn't write that Northside was "a poor black school" and STM...

What I wrote was "One school is seen as poor and black. The other is seen as rich and white." The point of the story that I wrote was supposed to have been that there was more to both schools than the stereotypes. I'll be the first to admit that my story didn't accomplish that. If I had it to do over again, I think I would have written it differently. Not because I don't think the story had merit, but because the point of it was lost.

But anyway, the reason I decided to write you is that I'm confused why a journalist prescribing to your high ethical standards would try to sway any of the facts, even the minor ones like what you attributed to me....


I have to agree; I was wrong for misquoting, and I see how just two words deleted can completely alter the meaning of already-loaded words. I imagine that happens all the time on Fox News, and I certainly don't want to be the purveyor of the same news-slanting that they do over there.

But I also want to stress that at no point was I trying to place the blame for the rivalry or racial tension on Jan Risher or any other individual. My point was that, intended or not, the article's unfortunate phrasing stoked the rivalry at a particularly potent time. News outlets across the area, as well as people at large, quoted the article in a similarly incorrect manner. I hope that those who read the post understand that I was trying to provide some background on the rivalry, not to discredit a legitimate journalist. She's taken enough flak about it, so I apologize. Not for the observation I was making, but for misquoting her. I hope this clarifies things.

5 comments:

Phillip said...

I don't think that what Fox does is "news-slanting" so much as it is "making up and speaking random combinations of words". Just my take.

Ragin Cajun said...

Maybe you two should pull the plank out of Dan Rather's eye before you look for a splinter in the eye of Fox News.

Gideon Starorzewski said...

Oh, Cajun, Cajun, Cajun,

Dan Rather tells the truth about aWol being a draft-dodging deserter but doesn't use the properly verify his sources, and right-wing moonbats fly off the handle. Faux News lies at the "Speed of Live" and wingnuts lap it up with a spoon. You people would be laughable if you weren't so pathetic.

Phillip said...

Fox News is the place for people who don't want actual news and who can't handle the "reality-based" world.

The Manning Report said...

Hey I bet Ian would enjoy this article.
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&u=/ap/20050115/ap_on_re_us/anti_bush_bracelets_3&printer=1