Patrick Crane: Defense as ‘news’

May 24, 2013 

Defense as ‘news’

Your May 21 article “Ex-chancellor Moeser criticizes coverage of UNC scandal” raises ethical concerns because the content of the article was much more representative of an editorial.

James Moeser’s comments were clearly directed toward The N&O’s coverage. Even though Moeser did not mention the primary reporter by name, his role in the coverage of the scandal made him uniquely unqualified to write a supposed “news” article about media coverage of the scandal. Further, no one other than Moeser was quoted in support of his comments.

Yet your story included quotes from three individuals, including N&O executive editor John Drescher (who has penned multiple columns on the issue), defending the N&O’s coverage of the scandal. Quoting Drescher, a peer of his (John Robinson) and a professor who has not taught at UNC in over five years comes across as nothing more than an ill-conceived attempt to disguise a defense of The N&O as a news article.

Before questioning the integrity of other institutions, perhaps The N&O should get its house in order. Publishing a defense of your journalism as a news article leaves one in no position to cast stones about others’ integrity.

Patrick Crane


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