Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Neiwert on Washington Post's Trial Coverage ... and C-SPAN

Journalist David Neiwert has commented a few times on the C-SPAN controversy, and the ensuing program, and we have previously highlighted some excerpts from his blog.

Neiwert has received correspondence from T.R. Reid objecting to parts of Neiwert's commentary. In concluding his response, Neiwert notes:

[...] when it comes to covering the Michael Jackson trial, the Post so far been running nearly daily reports (mostly by Libby Copeland). That too would constitute what I think most journalists and editors see as "covering the trial." I'm sure a case can be readily made that the Jackson trial is the more newsworthy and significant of the two, but I'm not sure I want to hear it.

As Yurman has noted in my comments, there are more than a few mitigating circumstances, of course: Being a foreign-office bureau chief is usually a thankless and over-assigned affair, and reporters like Reid are always being spread thin. He also had to cover proceedings in the Augusto Pinochet trial there that winter. Much as I might not have liked the Post's choices, they were at least defensible.

What's not as defensible, I think, is the relatively thin gruel that Reid served up for BookTV's national audience -- a natural result, I think, of his not having read Lipstadt's book. [...]

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