The New York Times Issues Official Apology for Biased and Unethical News Reporting

new-york-times-logoArthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher, and Dean Baquet, executive editor, of The New York Times have issued an official apology regarding the nation’s most influential newspaper’s coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign: Click here to read the NY Times

The New York Post reacts: Click here to read the NY Post

 

 

Presidential Disaster – How the Mainstream Press Failed America

The very foundations of journalism and media ethics were shaken to their cores during the 2016 presidential election. Possibly the biggest slap in the face to Americans were the befuddled and flummoxed looks on the faces of the news anchors as Trump was declared the winner state by state throughout the night.

 

Even today as crowds of protestors flood the streets in outrage, the press has sheepishly admitted that they did not act in the public interest. The mainstream media will continue to lose public trust unless they are willing to admit that they were the key players in misleading the public to fulfill their own agendas.

These revelations should not only disgust voters (no matter who they supported), it calls into the question how organizations determine “the news” based on their own opinions, how members of the media “look down” on issues and people, how many reporters misinterpret information or don’t understand it, how the press will collectively launch campaigns to bring people down, and the how the many reporters are arrogant, insulated, and refuse to blame themselves for this mess.

Based on my experiences in broadcast news and public relations, I have drawn the following conclusions about the mainstream press:

  1. They never once seriously considered the fact that Donald Trump could be president, often laughing hysterically at the possibility.
  2. Gave Trump billions and billions of dollars of free uninterrupted air time since the day he announced his candidacy, for ratings.
  3. Prevented all other candidates and dissenting voices from gaining television exposure, on purpose.
  4. Blurred the lines between news and news entertainment, on purpose.
  5. Ignored the real issues.
  6. Ignored Middle America.
  7. Ignored millennials.
  8. Ignored African-Americans.
  9. Ignored Latinos.
  10. Insulted Trump supporters by labeling them as “uneducated whites.”
  11. Forced viewers to seek news and information elsewhere online.
  12. Refused to believe that Americans, namely white women, would tolerate and vote for a “con-artist,” a “racist,” a “Russian-lover” and a “sexist.”
  13. Claimed Trump, his campaign, and his supporters threatened them.
  14. Relied on flawed polls that said “Trump had no path to victory.”
  15. Relied on flawed polls that said “there was no hidden Trump vote.”
  16. Threw gasoline on the “US vs THEM” conflict dividing America, hoping that it will continue.
  17. Despite impressions, have very little resources to understand and interpret how the world is changing and what it means for us.

I don’t believe the press is “liberal.” However, newsrooms are managed by people who believe their opinions are the only ones that matter, and that they are NEVER wrong.

This blog will explore these issues as we enter new and unexplored territory during the next few weeks. My theories are my own, but I will support them with evidence. Until I observe that the mainstream press has in fact learned for its mistakes, I will continue to questions everything I see on the news.

 

 

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SC Leaders Attempt to Prevent A Ferguson-Like Crisis Following A Videotaped Police Shooting That Stunned The Nation

Screen shot from amateur video

In what could be described as a swift and highly-organized response, elected and community leaders in South Carolina avoided escalating a crisis involving a shocking police involved shooting that was captured on video in North Charleston. It seems many agencies learned important lessons following a similar incident in Ferguson, Missouri where a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown last year. The slow communications response, lack of visibility, poor community outreach, and inconsistent statements all added fire to heated protests in the city, sparked viral outrage on social media, and ignited numerous protests in many other cities across the country.

It was clear that those who were in charge of the North Charleston investigation and communications team properly identified all of essential the stakeholders and kept them well informed on the latest developments. The spokespeople expressed genuine concern and were effective in providing available details to the public.

1. The mayor of North Charleston held a timely media briefing where he expressed sympathy and said the city accepted responsibility. “When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. When you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or a citizen on the street, you have to live with that decision,” he said.

2. The Governor of South Carolina issued an immediate statement declaring, “We have many good law enforcement officers in the field. What happened in this case is not acceptable in South Carolina, nor is it reflective of our values or of the way most of our law enforcement officials act, and I assure all South Carolinians that the criminal judicial process will proceed fully. This is a sad time for everyone in South Carolina, and I urge everyone to work together to help our community heal.”

3. The leaders also informed the NAACP and the victim’s family so that an earlier scheduled press conference was delayed. We could assume that the city and state would have been criticized for responding to unanswered questions.

Even though the city will have to handle a series of emotionally-charged public demonstrations (All Lives Matter), it will be critical for it to maintain a positive relationship with the community and the media as the case against the accused police officer goes to trial.

Read the New York Times article here.

**HOWEVER**

The opposite is happening in the city of Miami Gardens where a police officer killed a mentally-ill man. The attorney for the family plans to release a police dashcam video that contradicts what was reported to the public. It’s described as a bombshell. The City is remaining silent.

Read the Miami New Times story here.

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City of Cleveland Issues Apology After Publicly Blaming 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice in Police-Involved Shooting

The lack of sympathy expressed following the police-involved shooting of a 12-year-old boy who was holding a pellet gun has created a community relations nightmare for the City of Cleveland. Even though there is a pending lawsuit, the city’s actions are making the situation regarding the death of Tamir Rice worse as word spreads across the nation in an atmosphere of heightened sensitivities.

It is a common practice among law enforcement agencies to “demonize” criminals and suspects in the press to create a positive public impression about the department activities. However, we advise using extra caution, especially in cases involving children or when the agency’s actions are under scrutiny.

Shooting of boy who had fake gun

12-year-old Tamir Rice

Review Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s apology here…

NYPD’s Social Media Campaign in Eric Garner Case Does Not Calm Community Frustration

NYPD tweet about public trust becomes online battleground

Chief Joanne JaffeThe chief of the department’s community affairs division tweeted a hopeful message after the officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner was not indicted. It is a standard crisis communications tactic to improve community relations, but it wasn’t what people wanted to hear in the current atmosphere where deadly clashes with police have led to nationwide protests.
Photo taken from ABC New website

Several News Outlets Ignore Robin Williams’ Family’s Request for Privacy

The news of legendary actor Robin Williams’ death continues to garner headlines around the world. Shortly after the August 11 announcement, his publicist distributed the following statement from his wife on behalf of the family:

“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

Moments after the family’s request for privacy, media watchers noticed ABC News had launched into full-blown crisis coverage that included an eye in the sky outside of the Williams residence.

Photo taken from ABC News website

Photo taken from ABC New website

ABC wasn’t the only news crew on the scene. Photographs from outside Williams’ home (click here).

The negative reaction was swift as news watchers began to attack ABC’s coverage on social media (click here).

In the meantime, several news outlets have started the coverage wars for exclusives and the most outrageous headlines. Check out TMZ (click here).

All of this activity prompted me to take a closer look at the phrase:

 “The family is asking for privacy during their time of grief.”

In an upcoming post, I will explain why one of the most used phrases in public relations is also one of the most ignored phrases in journalism.

 

Singapore Airlines Criticized for Insensitive Social Media Posts About Doomed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Singapore Airlines apologies for social media remarks it posted after tragedy

Hours after Flight MH17 was shot down on Thursday SIA posted Facebook and Twitter updates saying its own flights were not using Ukrainian airspace

A general view of the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight, from Amsterdam to Kuala LumpurSingapore Airlines (SIA) has apologized for social media posts it made following the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. Hours after the plane was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 people on board, SIA posted Facebook and Twitter updates saying its own flights were not using Ukrainian airspace. The move led to angry responses online, with many criticising the company for not offering condolences to the victims’ families.