Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Less News Reporting; More Editorializing in the News Sections

Since moving to Dallas, I have generally had a favorable view of the Dallas Morning News -- it certainly compares favorably to the local newspaper of my previous home. However, in the wake of yesterday's announcement (which I discussed here) that the newspaper is making changes that will reduce the amount of news content come problems in a couple of stories today, one of which may be the result of the reduced space.

A report cobbled together and severely truncated from AP and LA Times reports is printed under a headline that could have been written by the Democratic National Committee -- "McCain offers no major solutions for economy." The article inadequately covers a speech by Sen. McCain in which he expresses a preference for helping homeowners rather than corporations and calls for greater transparency from lenders. However, the article begins with a statement that he "offered no major prescriptions" and concludes by saying that Democrats claim that he lacks the ability to lead a country in a recession. The DNC could have written the headline: they almost could have issued this as a press release.

Note: I could not locate the article, which I read in the actual newspaper, on the DMN's website. The much better report on the speech by the LA Times can be found here. That article also concluded with attacks by Democrats on Sen. McCain, but it also adequately covered the content of his speech. It is a balanced report.

Meanwhile, a news report on a Texas Department of Insurance ruling in a case pitting Farmers Insurance against some of its policy holders begins, "Score one for Farmers Insurance and zero for consumers."

Though clever, that is not a statement for a news report. It is an editorial comment. One might hope that those running the lighter, more "readable" version of the DMN have not forgotten the difference.

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