Indiana “Right to Work” Bill Passes

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on February 8, 2012

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-Read the excerpt below from newsbusters.org posted by Ken Shepherd on Feb. 2.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

from a report by Ken Shepherd posted at newsbusters.org on Feb. 2:
The passage of “controversial” right-to-work legislation in Indiana is a “blow to organized labor.” That’s the spin by Reuters reporter Susan Guyett, who front-loaded her coverage of the bill’s passage by focusing on anger from liberals and labor unions over the new legislation (emphases mine):

Indiana became the 23rd state to pass anti-union “right-to-work” legislation on Wednesday and the first in the nation’s manufacturing heartland, dealing a blow to organized labor by allowing workers to opt out of paying union dues.

Indiana’s Republican governor Mitch Daniels signed the legislation into law immediately after it was given final approval in the state Senate, making Indiana the first state to adopt such a measure since Oklahoma did so a decade ago.

Daniels, governor since 2005 and a prominent spokesman for Republicans nationally, said he decided Indiana needed the controversial new law after several businesses decided to locate elsewhere.

“Seven years of evidence and experience ultimately demonstrated that Indiana did need a right-to-work law to capture jobs for which, despite our highly rated business climate, we are not currently being considered,” he said in a statement after signing the bill.

Indiana is being closely watched by both major political parties in the presidential election debate over job creation and reviving the U.S. economy.

The Indiana state Senate vote of 28 to 22 was followed by calls of “shame, shame” from members of the public outside the chamber. Opponents of right-to-work call it “union busting” and say it will lower the wages of workers.

It wasn’t until the 10th paragraph that Reuters reporter Guyett quoted one of the bill’s sponsors who explained what exactly the bill does (emphases mine):

Republican state Senator Carlin Yoder, the bill’s main sponsor, said it would not prevent anyone from joining a union.

“It is simply allowing those individuals to decide for themselves if they want to pay union dues or not,” Yoder said during the floor debate on Wednesday.

The Reuters piece provided liberal newspapers with a quick opportunity for copy-and-pasting a drive-by hit on Indiana’s conservatives. For example, today’s Washington Post excerpted from [the] Reuters story, but failed to include Yoder’s defense of the bill and presented readers of its page A3 national news digest a thoroughly-skewed presentation of the issue. …

While right-to-work is fundamentally about empowering individual’s rights in the labor market, the liberal media are busy coloring the issue in ways that downplay or negate the issue as one of personal liberty.

Questions

1.  Do you this this is an example of bias by: omission, spin, both, or neither?  Explain your answer.

2.  Why do you think the media chose to focus on only one side of this historic (and two-sided) issue?


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

1.  and 2.  Opinion questions. Answers vary.