Monday, May 20, 2013

THE MODESTO BEE: ONCE AGAIN MISSES THE MARK

Well, hi again.  It has been quite some time since my last posting.  I could explain why but I will not - at least for now.  What prompted this posting was the shabby reporting of the Modesto Bee.  Yes, Ms. Nowicki is once again roaming all over the journalistic country side.

Here is the article:

http://www.modbee.com/2013/05/19/2722994/turlock-episcopal-congregation.html#

Here is at least one rebuttal (this has not been posted since I am awaiting the renewing of my modebee account).


I thought the Modesto Bee had an editorial page for this type of an article. The writer's personal opinions are not to be insidiously inserted in the "news article" the reporter has written. The opening line in the article begins with "think FORGIVE, act". This neither opens the article nor does it give insight into what this article is about. It clearly infers that the current Anglican parishioners have to forgive something or someone. The second paragraph further serves to editorialize by "including the words, 'Thou are giving and forgiving ...'". The third paragraph explains the reporter's indignation and at the same time sets the stage for "good guy versus bad guy". The Anglican St. Francis Church are the good guys while the big bad Episcopal Church is the bad guy.

The fourth paragraph, "the decision was made to return St. Francis and the historic Red Church (Sonora), ... " The line infers that these two Anglican parishes somehow own the buildings in which they held their services. Both these (in fact all 40 of 47) buildings were taken over by the Anglican parishes by right of occupancy. They were never paid for by the individuals nor the Anglican Diocese headed up by Eric Menees. The Episcopal Church is simply trying to regain that which was taken without recompense. And who among us would not want to "sue" if a squatter occupied our home when we were not looking and the squatter will not give it back?

The fifth paragraph is full of quotes from the Anglican Bishop from Fresno with NO corresponding quotes from Bishop Talton, the Episcopal Bishop who rightly is responsible for the property and as the Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin is the steward of all the Episcopal property. What reporter, seeking balance would not balance quotes?

The reporter goes on to share quotes from long standing Anglican parishioners about their "home". The reporter failed to quote any of the long standing Episcopal parishioners who grew up in that parish and were unceremoniously thrown out of their building.

The reporter goes on to quote the Anglican Bishop to say "Grace Anglican Church ...will be a place where God is honored and glorified". As if to say that when the Episcopal parish regains their rightful property these parishioners will not honor and glorify God.

The reporter goes on to quote Russ Rappley from Michigan (who joined the parish only after the split the “Anglican” and the Episcopal diocese was completed, and knows nothing of the Episcopal parish that was there) "it’s not the way Christians should act". Again no balancing quote(s) from Kathy Galatia, the current Vicar of St. Francis Episcopal Church. And, the quote infers that what the Anglicans did by taking over the building is the Christian thing to do!

There are several more unbalanced quotes by parishioners and story lines by the reporter that predetermine what readers ought to think about this story.
I am greatly disappointed by the biased reporting of this reporter. Even non-journalists know that the "below the fold" ought to contain responses and reactions from (the other side).  Journalists are responsible for who, what, why, where, when, and how.  The conclusions drawn from a dispassionate and unbiased article are supposed to be the readers. 

All I can say in conclusion is journalism has taken a "turn for the worst" to quote and Eagles song. 

Personal note: best wishes to all my blogging friends.

1 comment:

JCF said...

Best wishes to (and prayers for) you, Fred!