Yet Another Media Blackout on the March for Life Show Clear Abortion Bias
by Maria Vitale
LifeNews.com Editorial Columnist
January 28, 2009
LifeNews.com Note: Maria Vitale is an editorial opinion columnist for LifeNews.com. She is the Public Relations Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.
When I was a graduate student in journalism, our professor asked a number of us in class one day whether we were pro-choice or pro-life. When he turned to me, I really wasn’t prepared to commit. I worried what the other members of my class might think ifhorrorI admitted I was pro-life.
So I reached for what I thought would be a clever, inclusive phrase and labeled myself pro-compromise. I had taken the cowards way out, and it would be years before I found the strength to embrace the pro-life cause.
During the same class, our professor stated that, as journalists, we could never march in an abortion-related protest. In his view, such an action would represent a betrayal of bias, an unwarranted departure from the island of neutrality he thought that journalists should inhabit with regard to the issue of abortion.
I worked full-time in journalism for nearly a dozen years. A number of the reporters I worked with prided themselves for their objectivity. They went out of their way to cover the other side of the story. And, in many cases, that meant covering the pro-life side.
I still believe journalism can be a noble occupation because, at its essence, it is supposed to be an attempt to find and share the truth. Not an excavation for an outrageous soundbite, not a hunt for sensational video, but a mirror allowing society to see itself, blemishes and all.
Having worked on a high school newspaper, studied journalism in both college and graduate school, worked as a reporter and producer, and substituted as an assignment editor, I can say there is no legitimate excuse for the virtual media blackout on the March for Life. It defies reason to say that, when a quarter of a million people travel from across the country to march through the streets of the nations capital, it is not news.
I used to think that the media didn’t cover the march because it happened every yeartherefore, it wasn’t new. However, there are a number of other events that occur on a regular basis that receive their share of news coveragesnowfalls, telethons, anniversaries of tragic events, to name a few.
And one could argue that the fact that tens of thousands of people have been descending on Washington on January 22nd for 35 years is, in itself, a remarkable achievement which should at least be acknowledged by the major news outlets.
By ignoring the March for Life, the news media do a grave disservice to the public. Viewers have a right to know that thousands of their friends and neighbors find it important enough to miss work and school one day each year in a show of solidarity against abortion.
The media blackout on the march isn’t just an oversight. Its poor journalism. And our nation suffers because of it.
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.