Washington Post Exposes BP ties to Eco-Groups

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on June 3, 2010

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Directions

-Read the excerpt below from Julia Seymour's June 2nd report posted at BusinessandMedia.org.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

British Petroleum’s (BP) reputation has been marred by the April oil rig explosion and subsequent oil spill which is still gushing more than 40 days later. But according to The Washington Post, the reputation of some left-wing environmental groups has also been polluted by the incident.

“[T]he [liberal] Nature Conservancy lists BP as one of its business partners. The Conservancy also has given BP a seat on its International Leadership Council and has accepted nearly $10 million in cash and land contributions from BP and affiliated corporations over the years,” Joe Stephens wrote for the Post May 24.

It’s not just Nature Conservancy either, the Post found $2 million in donations to Conservation International and relationships between BP and other left[-wing] activist groups Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Sierra Club and Audubon.

“The crude emanating from BP’s well threatens to befoul a number of alliances between energy conglomerates and environmental nonprofits. At least one group, Conservation International, acknowledges that it is reassessing its ties to the oil company, with an eye toward protecting its reputation,” the Post said.

This was front page news at The Post on May 24, but received only silence from other mainstream media outlets including the three broadcast networks. Even after the oil spill, when the networks interviewed experts from two of the groups that had partnered with BP, reporters failed to make the connection. …

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The revelation that BP was heavily tied to eco-groups like Conservation International and Nature Conservancy angered many of their supporters, yet the networks and other major papers have so far failed to report the relationships between green groups and BP.

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Read the original post at businessandmedia.org.

Questions

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

2.  Why do you think the national media (TV networks and newspapers) have not reported on ties between BP and liberal environmental groups?  Be specific.


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
























Answer(s)

1.  The excerpt is an example of bias by omission and story selection.

2.  Opinion question. Answers vary.