The Subtlety of Media Bias

Posted: February 19, 2007 by April Watkins in Current Events, Media, Small Towns, War on Terror
Tags: ,

My question is, “Why were our soldiers not on the front page?” 

I just finished reading the Sunday, February 16 edition of The Jackson Sun newspaper, a daily paper from Jackson, TN.  The paper has long been known to be a liberal, pro-democratic publication.   Today, however, I was stunned at two items found in its pages:  1) an editorial column by right-winger Michelle Malkin on the Opinion Page; and 2) interesting choices for the two above-the-fold, lead stories on the front page. 

To say I was stunned at the Malkin column is an understatement.  I was thrilled to see that the Sun has decided to provide an alternative view to its readership.  I was prepared to write “kudos” to the editor. 

Then, I read the headline for Section B – Local News.  It reads “Guardsmen Return Home.”  The story tells of the homecoming of members of the 4th Squadron, 278 Armored Calvary Regiment of the Tennessee National Guard who have served in Afghanistan for the past 16 months.   Their story is briefly told…on page 1 of Section B. 

I had to shake my head and return to the front page.  What could be more important to our community than the return of our hometown heroes after such a long deployment? 

Well, I discovered that it was a dispute regarding school unitary status and the 60th birthday celebration of a local woman who has survived a lifetime in an iron lung. 

Now, while I agree that the school situation is an important issue for the area, I don’t understand the birthday story placement.  Yes, it is a touching story of survival and tenacity.  It is a wonderful story of the quality of life through the eyes of a special person.  However, it is not a story that affects the community as a whole, except as an inspirational note. 

My question is why were our soldiers not on the front page?  Their courage, their committment, their willingness to stand between terror and us… Are these not more important to the general reading public of this newspaper than a birthday party?

This disrespect is very subtle.  Most people may not even realize that the placement of this story was a disrespectful act; expecially if The Jackson Sun is their only news outlet.  Unless you are a news-junkie like me – who looks between the lines and reads multiple sources for news reports – you may not have noticed the subtle slap at the men and women of our Armed Forces by The Jackson Sun

These fine Americans volunteer to fight on our behalf so that we may have the freedoms to share our thoughts in print, on TV and in blogs.  I ask you, is this the proper way to say “Welcome Home”? 


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