Eason Jordan and the Detroit News
I wrote the Detroit News on Saturday about their lack of coverage on the Eason Jordan mess. I appreciate the answer but it seems lame: a) the wireservices and the LA Times and Washington Post haven't covered it and b) internet sites are dangerous sources (the only site I specifically referenced was Hugh Hewitt.) I like the Detroit News and have subscribed for probably 2 decades. But this makes me want to call them the Detroit Lack of News.
Here's the correspondence:
Today (Feb 8) I received a nice response from Nan Seelman, the Detroit News national editor
[I won't reprint it in full until I receive her permission.] But she essentially said:
a)the wireservices and the LA Times and Washington Post haven't covered it and
b) "Legally and ethically, it is dangerous to use stories published by other sources, such as the Internet sites you mentioned." (the only site I specifically referenced was Hugh Hewitt.)
c) she promised to watch the wire services they use and consider publishing it if they get a story.
I'm glad she wrote back, but it's really not that encouraging as far as looking at the Detroit News as a reliable source of news.
So here's how I responded to her today:
Thank you very much for your response, Ms. Seelman. I appreciate you taking the time to write.
May I share your response to me with the writers who have reported on this story? And may I post it on my blog where I am summarizing our correspondence?
I find myself a bit disappointed in the Detroit News. If you only report what is on the AP, or in the LA Times, or in the Washington Post, I think you are giving us a bit of a skewed view on the news.
I also doubt that Hugh Hewitt or Michelle Malkin (who has a column that I often read in your newspaper) are dangerous sources for news and I doubt that they appreciate being characterized like that. Certainly, I expect the Detroit News to be able to make a few phone calls to people like Rep. Barney Frank (D. MA) or Sen. Christopher Dodd (D. CT) or CNN on a story with international implications like this one.
I am not in the news business, except as a consumer. But if I can find the story, I find it extremely surprising that the Detroit News is not aware of this story and its importance. Someone over there should be assigned to keep up on the news that's being reported freely on the internet - or very soon the newspaper will not be looked to as a reliable source of news.
I will watch the pages of the News with interest for full coverage of Eason Jordan's remarks, and hope that the reporting will meet high journalistic standards.
For your reference:
Here's the original email I sent to the Detroit News 3 days ago:
Subject:Why no reporting on Eason Jordan?
Date:Sat, 05 Feb 2005 08:12:25 -0500
To:email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Detroit News Editors:
Why haven't I seen even one story in the News on Eason Jordan's speech accusing the US military of targeting journalists in Iraq?
When there's news out there that I know about that you don't report, it makes me wonder what I don't know about that you aren't reporting either.
I enjoy the Detroit News, have subscribed much of my adult life, and read it almost daily. Please explain why you don't cover a major accusation by the international head of CNN against the US military. If Jordan was misunderstood, that's good. But certainly there's more substance to this story than a lot of things that are reported.
There are so many news outlets these days, that omissions like this are obvious to anyone who pays attention. You're only hurting your own reputation, certainly not protecting Eason Jordan's or whatever the explanation might be.
If by some chance you aren't familiar with the story, it's been well-reported by Hugh Hewitt at http://www.hughhewitt.com/ and a variety of other readily available internet sources which are read by hundreds of thousands.