To protest abortion coverage, a #MarchOnMedia

Yesterday I found out about protest against the media’s coverage of abortion. It’s called March On The Media and the band of protesters will go to ABC News studios in Washington, D.C. to demand better news coverage.

Was it a commenter here who suggested that the massive throngs of annual pro-life marchers should re-route through the Washington Post newsroom if they wanted to get noticed? Not a bad idea, actually.

Lila Rose, the human rights activist and undercover sting journalist who heads LiveAction, explained a bit of her rationale for hosting the march on Twitter yesterday. I put the tweets in Storify.

As you see, one of the examples she gave was how abortion rights hero Wendy Davis came to Washington, D.C., this week, was feted (again) by the media and said something grossly untrue about Kermit Gosnell. The media didn’t even mention it, much less cover it in any substantial way. Mainstream media reporters continued their odd approach of not asking any or many questions about abortion, much less a tough one, leaving it to John McCormack of The Weekly Standard to ask an abortion-related question. She revealed she is at the extreme end on abortion rights, supporting no limits on the right to end the life of any child in the womb. That wasn’t news. She also flubbed information related to the very bill she filibustered. It was not deemed news.

It gets tiring, though, to point out the horrible coverage of this topic. Media analysts have been soberly pointing out the problems for decades. Anti-abortion activists have been shouting about it for years.

And nothing changes.

So let’s brainstorm ideas. The situation is whatever it is. What can be done to improve it? While the general lay of the land is dismal, obviously, some reporters have been able to cover this hot-button topic better than others. Do you have tips for reporters and editors? Please share them. Imagine you’re sitting down with a reporter or editor. What would you ask of them? What would you encourage them to do?

Related, what should news consumers do about this situation? The band of protesters will protest today. But what should other news consumers who care about good coverage do? What can they say or do to be heard?

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  • Dale

    I am surprised to see the Washington Post targeted, since they cover the March for Life every year.

    A Google search such as

    “March for Life” site:washingtonpost.com

    will turn up a large number of news stories.

    • MollieZHemingway

      And their coverage has improved over the years. The commenter just suggested that since the broader media environment is what it is … and the march takes place in Washington, D.C.

  • UWIR

    “As you see, one of the examples she gave was how abortion rights hero Wendy Davis came to Washington, D.C., this week, was feted (again) by the media and said something grossly untrue about Kermit Gosnell.”

    You don’t provide a citation for Davis’ alleged statement, nor one showing that her alleged statement is false, let alone an explanation of why it’s important (to the point of being “gross”), and you criticize other people’s journalistic standards. Riiiiight.

    “Mainstream media reporters continued their odd approach of not asking any or many questions about abortion”

    Such as…..

    “She revealed she is at the extreme end on abortion rights, supporting no limits on the right to end the life of any child in the womb. That wasn’t news.”

    Let me see if I’ve got this straight. The fact that legislator who most strongly opposed the anti-abortion bill is strongly pro-abortion rights isn’t news?

    “She also flubbed information related to the very bill she filibustered.”

    And you, the paragon of journalistic standards, don’t bother backing that statement up.

    “It gets tiring, though, to point out the horrible coverage of this topic.”

    Can you give any specific, explicit overarching principle that you believe is being violated, other than “There is stuff that I think they should be reporting, that they aren’t”?

    • Kristen inDallas

      I think the specific examples of “stuff they should be covering” but aren’t have been pretty well documented in previous posts on this site.
      I would, however, be curious to know what info Davis flubbed regarding the bill. The unsubstantiated sttatementy on it’s own left me a little bewildered.

    • MAE

      Following the links in the tweets will answer many of your questions.

      • UWIR

        I should go through several dozen links to find answers that should have been given in the article?

        • MAE

          Mollie isn’t writing news, she’s analyzing it. If you want to learn more about her statements or if you suspect things may have been taken out of context (or fabricated, for that matter), follow the links. The content of the tweets will let you quickly figure out which point to articles and which do not.

          • UWIR

            Are you seriously claiming that this blog post doesn’t purport to be journalism? It is an entirely different genre in which there is no need to back up one’s claims? I shouldn’t have to embark on a research project. That’s the writer’s job. It’s rather suspicious that you keep insisting that the answers are readily available from the tweets, yet have not presented any explicit explanation of how this is so. I also note that the way the tweets are displayed, the complete URLs are not readily readable, not even on mousing over them. Part of a citation is letting the readers know what the citation consists of before they follow it.

        • MAE
          • UWIR

            It seems to me that that supports Davis’ statement. According to that link, abortion clinics are not regulated as ambulatory surgical centers, they are, by any reasonable standard, ambulatory surgical center. At worst, Davis wasn’t “wrong”, merely imprecise.

  • Donalbain

    Once again: Get Right Wing Republican Talking Points


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