Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Is Your Newspaper Doing Its Job?

Most people think their newspaper’s job is to provide them with local news, state news, sports news and scores, and entertainment. Maybe even national and world news. Most newspapers do all these, and do them reasonably well. I believe a newspaper’s first mission should be to educate its readers. Especially in matters related to politics and law, two subjects most people do not focus on.

My local paper fails dismally, as does the more widely circulated Roanoke Times. The Times’ Michael Sluss has a front page story today on the arrests of protesters occupying the South Portico and steps of the Capitol Building.

Michael is usually a fine writer, and I find no fault with his words today. But surely, considering how much time he spends in Richmond, he knows that Virginia law forbids any group from protesting there. He failed to mention that very relative fact. Granted it would have made the featured character in his story, a Roanoke woman who was among those arrested, much less sympathetic, however, he owes his readers much more than he does a single protester. They deserve the full truth. After all, they are paying for it.

The ladies protesting in Richmond were there to voice their concerns about “forced” ultrasounds. To my knowledge the Times has never informed its readers that Planned Parenthood WILL, as a matter of policy, perform an ultrasound to determine the gestational age of your kid. It might be the “rape” method, or it could be the “jelly on the belly” method, but it will happen. Your friendly neighborhood abortionist may or may not choose to do this medically required test. Medically required? Don’t take my word for it, the National Abortion Federation says it’s required. (Myself? I only wonder why such a federation exists.) Oh, and now Virginia law requires it, and requires the mother be offered a chance to view it. An option they did not have previously.

In order to avoid the “forced” ultrasound you now have to resort to a back alley and a coat hanger. Just like before.

Has your local or favorite regional newspaper factually reported on just these two recent issues? I thought not. I can’t find any paper’s online story that mentions either of these two facts. You’re not paying for this blog. The truth here comes free.

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