Sunday, June 14, 2009

Uh AP, we have a problem 

In a continuation of the theme hit upon in the post below, another good blogger Tom Blumer at Bizzy Blog has hit upon more bias and sloppy reporting from AP. Tom finds AP quoting a report put out by the Pew Charitable Trusts claiming so-called renewable energy jobs outpacing economic growth of the economy in general. When Tom looked into the numbers put out by Pew, he found they didn't jibe with numbers put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Further digging found that Pew relied upon a third firm but didn't really disclose the relationship.

While I have no doubt that growing concern and interest in environmental issues will lead to very different jobs than ones held by our parents or grand parents, it is premature to say that the movement has created all of these new jobs ex-nihilo. This is especially the case when most environmental groups have been in favor of greater amounts of government involvement and regulation of the economy. I agree with James Taranto
This misleading framing of the data did not originate with the AP; the Pew press release is titled "Pew Finds Clean Energy Economy Generates Significant Job Growth." But this points to a way in which media bias often operates. Rarely do news reporters merely rewrite a press release touting a study that comes from a conservative or free-market group. Instead, they take a more critical approach in order to compensate for the group's bias. There's nothing wrong with that; the fault lies in journalists' failing to apply a similar skepticism to liberal groups.

This story and the one commented below point to glaring examples of certain groups getting essentially a free pass from AP while others are looked at with more skepticism if not hostility. Pew Charitable Trusts show growth in "renewable energy" jobs unbelievably outgrowing the rest of the economy? Pass the report on. Hamas sets up a dating service as part of its "community outreach"? Downplay the rockets, arms smuggling and violence perpetrated by the group. What makes these stories really offensive is knowing newspapers in most cities run them verbatim.

AP has some serious problems and this would seem to be the biggest one. Fixing the bias and laziness of journalists would go a long way towards earning the trust and dollars of the American public.

Labels: , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?