I’ve been contemplating perceived bias, recently, and I think people see bias in reports or information that doesn’t match their personal stance, belief system, political beliefs, etc. Even when the facts support a story, if it doesn’t agree with a viewer’s beliefs, they are likely to see that story as biased. That’s unfortunate, but a reality.
We recently received the following e-mail in the newsrom:
On today’s news, you reported on the Bi-State group working on trying to save the Aresenal. You gave an interview to a Union leader and cited speaking with Dick Durbin. Why was there no interview with Bobby Schilling? He stepped up, formed this committee, and brught all of the local leaders together from both sides of the river.
Then, WQAD had the audacity to give some air-time to Ms. Bustos and her campaign contributions. Is this because she is the God-Daughter of Dick Durbin? WQAD mentioned him first and then Ms. Bustos.
This is bad Journalism and does not give the approrpriate credit to Mr. Schilling for all he is doing, you made it appear Dick Durbin is the leader along with the Union.
Also, Mr. Schilling Co-Sponsored the Stock Act which just passed the Senate…This is a huge ethical piece of legislation much overdue that the Public has been crying out for, why not give some attention to this work also being done by Mr. Schilling?
If you want to be perceived as a credible news organization, then give the truthful story to the public and not credit to those who do not deserve it.
The viewer brings up some seemingly valid points, actually. However, the facts do not support his stance. Here is the response one of my colleagues sent to the viewer:
I’m unaware whether or not anyone else from WQAD has gotten back to you on this, so I’ve taken time to do a little research specifically for you and would appreciate a response:
- Since 10/28, we have done 40 separate stories on Rep. Schilling, including long, in-depth pieces on his work to save jobs at the Arsenal on January 30th and December 20th.
- Since 10/28, we have done 3 stories total on Cheri Bustos, including yesterday’s story on her fundraising totals (which included the Congressman’s son as Rep. Schilling is in Washington D.C.).
- As for yesterday’s story on Sen. Dick Durbin, if you review the piece, the crux of it was that he had met specifically yesterday with Secretary of the Army John McHugh– no one else did yesterday, including Rep. Schilling– the piece was simply a summary of their meeting together.
- We are also the only TV news organization to mention yesterday that all area lawmakers, including Rep. Schilling, will meet together this weekend to discuss non-partisan plans to protect jobs at the Arsenal– we’ll be there to cover it.
I’ll look forward to hearing back from you and hope you have a nice weekend.
At this point, the viewer has yet to respond.