The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

24 May 2004

Don't leave Rome without it

Dawn Eden noticed this Reuters ("One man's news agency is another man's septic tank") story in The Boston Globe that draws an unwarranted conclusion in its very first sentence:

Pope John Paul yesterday repeated the Roman Catholic Church's opposition to homosexual marriage, for the first time since Massachusetts became the first US state to allow same-sex weddings.

"Family life is sanctified in the joining of man and woman in the sacramental institution of holy matrimony," he said in an address to visiting US bishops.

The Associated Press coverage of the same address notes the following:

[John Paul's] speech on Saturday about family life contained no reference to the debate raging in the United States over decisions by some authorities to allow marriage between homosexuals.

"No reference," says the AP, but Reuters construes it as "repeated... opposition." What's wrong with this picture? Here's the complete text of the Papal address: decide for yourself.

And Dawn would like to know if this Reuters practice is extensible to more mundane stories. An example:

I could say, "One black coffee, please," and Reuters could write, "Dawn Eden Denies Business to Dairy Industry."

It could be worse. They could have accused her of profiling. ("All these other java variants around, but no, she picks on the black one.")

(Update, 11:40 am: Matt Deatherage looks at the AP and Reuters coverage of Fahrenheit 9/11 at Cannes, and finds the AP headline neutral, the Reuters headline ridden with bias.)

Posted at 7:46 AM to Political Science Fiction

TrackBack: 4:33 PM, 24 May 2004
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