Wednesday, August 02, 2006
We stand by our balance
Recently, certain individuals have attacked the Telegraph-Journal's credibility in interviews on commercial radio. Our reputation as balanced reporters and editors is what recommends us to readers as a source of information and a forum for opinion. So we'd like to take this opportunity to address the accusations.
We think they're completely out to lunch.
It's easy to toss around allegations of bias. It's more difficult to back up the opinion with an argument based on fact. We're challenging our critics to do just that - because the facts are on our side.
Maybe they didn't trust the Telegraph-Journal's coverage of the LNG tax deal? The jury that picked the finalists for 2005's Atlantic Journalism Awards did. Reporter Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon made it into the top three for her exposé of how much more LNG projects in other jurisdictions are expected to pay in taxes. The Telegraph-Journal's coverage revealed Common Council's eleventh-hour tax concession for what it was: a hasty decision, made under duress with inaccurate information.
How about our coverage of the controversy over where to put the LNG pipeline? Since the utility corridor through Rockwood Park was identified as the preferred route, the Telegraph-Journal has published 38 letters on the topic - 10 in favour of running the pipeline through the park and 28 opposed. A number of letter writers opposed to the park route have had their opinions published more than once.
Commentaries on our opinion page have followed a similar pattern. The Telegraph-Journal has published just one commentary presenting the arguments of the pipeline company; it was written by Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline President Doug Bloom. But we've published three full-length opinion articles raising objections to the pipeline or the Rockwood Park route, one a direct response to Doug Bloom's article.
People who claim the Telegraph-Journal is denying the pipeline's opponents a voice must not be reading the newspaper on a regular basis. If they were, they would know writers critical of the project have been given the lion's share of ink on the subject.
Those who accuse this newspaper of a "lack of balance" in coverage seem to be upset about something else: our editorial opinions. They'd like you to believe the Telegraph-Journal is trying to silence opposition to the pipeline, so they can explain away why our editorial board doesn't find their arguments convincing.
There's a simpler explanation: those opposed to the pipeline have offered few strong arguments for blocking the project.
If the pipeline debate were governed by logic, opposition would have been dominated by the concerns of residents in Milford, whose one road in and out of their neighbourhood will be bisected by construction. But it hasn't been. The most heated debate has concerned Rockwood Park, and that debate has been emotional - led by protesters who are opposed to the LNG terminal and its tax deal, period.
We've reported the protesters' comments and published their opinions, and we'll continue to do so; but we haven't heard anything to change our editorial board's opinion about the value of the pipeline. It's not a question of balance; it's a matter of judgement.
The Telegraph-Journal's editorial agenda is no secret: we're pro-growth and pro-development. We believe the LNG terminal makes economic sense in a city eager to grow, and that the pipeline revenues could be used to improve Rockwood Park. Given the potential benefits - and the fact gas pipelines already run under busy city streets - we do not understand the opposition to placing the LNG export pipeline under the park's clearcut utility corridor.
At the end of the day, the National Energy Board will decide on the pipeline route, not the Telegraph-Journal or Councillor Ivan Court. We believe we've covered the LNG issue in a fair and balanced manner. We welcome anyone who disagrees to discuss their complaints with us, or to call the Atlantic Press Council, toll-free, at 1-800-363-2800.
But when it comes to our editorial position, we reserve the right to form our own opinions - and we won't be bullied into changing them by people making soft, unfounded accusations of bias.
I heard this story around one month ago but I was too busy with other issues to blog this issue.
I was told that Bernard Lord is going to pay very close attention the next political poll which is coming out this month.
If the poll favors the P.C.’s? He will quickly call an election. This will mean that criminal MLA'S like Tanker Malley will be thrown out from office and this will be a good thing!
I was told to save face with the voters. He won’t wait for the pensions to take affect.
He won’t have to face the voters knowing that they know he waited till all his P.C. Mla got qualify for their fat pension check.
I’m asking myself some questions about Shawn Graham?
So If Charles LeBlanc is asking himself some questions? What are other New Brunswickers asking themselves?
This picture was taken a couple of days ago and I had a good face to face chat with Shawn Graham about me being banned for life from the New Brunswick Legislature.
I joined the Liberal Party to denounce Shawn Graham, Kelly Lamrock and Stuart Jamieson but if I do this?
If Shawn Graham gets elected Premier?
He may just ignore me on the issue of Ritalin. For the sake of the thousands of kids who are force to take these prescription drugs? I will remain on the sideline.
If Shawn gets elected Premier? I will see for my own eyes if it matters which political party is in power?
That’s the question?
I predict that he will go to the polls in the near future.
It’s going to be very interesting!
This is an email from the gay guy.
Human Rights Wouldn't do anything for me. They spoke with Mario Charlebois he said too bad so sad.
The MLA wouldn't do anything for me.I spoke with the Chief Rental's Person Marilyn Evans Born, she couldn't help me because the
Bill is not Fianlized.
So as I said before I am going to the media.
I called Ron Shaw of CTV , he said he would be in contact with me tomorrow (Tuesday Morning)
Wish Me Luck....
The guy was always sitting on his bed without a shirt. It was just like he was waiting to died.
It was sad.
Lonely, old and nobody around. It gave me a scary feeling.
I asked him last week if I could take a picture and he said- No.
God bless his soul.