NY Times Ignores March for Life

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on January 28, 2009

Directions

-Read the excerpt below (from TimesWatch.org)
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

… when tens of thousands marched in D.C. for a conservative cause – the March for Life, on the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade – they were completely ignored by the New York Times. This marks the second year in a row the Times has totally ignored the march in its print edition.

The Washington Post found the pro-life march newsworthy, making it a Page 2 story. The Los Angeles Times also ran a story, albeit one accompanied by a misleading photo of a pro-choice protestor.

But the New York Times contented itself to a post on its political blog in which the march itself didn’t even make the headline: “On 35th Anniversary, Obama Praises Roe v. Wade Precedent.”

President Barack Obama reaffirmed his commitment to protecting abortion rights on Wednesday, the 35th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, and said that it “stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters.”

The march wasn’t mentioned until paragraph five.

Mr. Obama’s position has anti-abortion groups worried. The president of National Right to Life, Wanda Franz, predicted that the president would pursue a “radical agenda” and on his watch, the number of abortions would “increase dramatically.”

And on the National Mall, where millions gathered on Tuesday to witness Mr. Obama’s inauguration, tens of thousands held a rally today marking the Roe v. Wade anniversary, followed by a march to the steps of the Supreme Court.

[NOTE: Marchers came from across the U.S., and included participants from Europe, Canada and Latin America. The event was dominated by high-school and college students. Speakers included Congressmen and religious leaders. Here are a few of the news stories the paper ran the day after the march:
“No Snickering: That Road Sign Means Something Else” (three-quarters of a page on A6, about signs with a double entendre in the U.K.),
“Boise Region Grapples With Smog, a Growing Threat” (a half-page on A12)
“Heat and Drought Blamed for Tree Deaths in West” (A13)]

Read the original post at timeswatch.org.

Read about other major media outlets that ignored the pro-life “March for Life” at newsbusters.org.

Questions

1.  What type of bias is the excerpt below an example of?

2.  Why does the NY Times have a responsibility to publish a print article about the March for Life in Washington DC?


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

Background

read an article at TheNewAmerican.com.
























Answer(s)

1.  The excerpt is an example of bias by omission.

2. The purpose of a newspaper is to keep its readers informed about newsworthy events. More than 100,000 people marching (including many young people) in support of life is a newsworthy event.  The NY Times has a responsibility to inform their readers about this event.