Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Palin, who knows big- and small-town media, should get off conspiracy kick, Ala. paper says

Author-TV host-former Alaska governor-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin is "off base" when she says a news-media conspiracy is out to get her, and she needs to at least acknowledge that her employer, Fox News, has an agenda, writes H. Brandt Ayers, right, an unabashed liberal and publisher of The Anniston Star, one of America's best small daily newspapers. (Photo from The Associated Press)

"Sarah should step out of her comfy rightwing bunker and examine her own network with the same critical eye she applies to the lamestream media," her term for "the institutions of established journalism," Ayers writes in a column that brings such issues down to the local level.

"Her degree in journalism would move her to assure me that there is a wide gulf between 'the media' and the thousands of daily and weekly community newspapers like The Star," he writes. "She and I would agree . . . that there is an almost interstellar gap between the media giants like Fox News’ parent, News Corp., and local papers where the owners and editors are familiar faces around town." (News Corp. does own some small-town papers, in the Ottaway group it bought as part of Dow Jones.)

Ayers recalls that Star Editor Bob Davis assembled "a reader panel of mostly our critics, who had a lot of ideas about what we did wrong and how we could improve. At the end he asked, 'Is there anyone who does NOT believe us?' Not a single hand was raised. Sarah would have to answer for herself whether Fox could meet the same standard of credibility." (Read more)

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