is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dea Riley and Gatewood Tell It Like It Is!

When the November election day arrives and it's your turn to vote, I hope you vote your conscience, and not the ticket.  Don't get me wrong: I love Mr. Beshear. I have worked for him as a legal secretary, and he is one of the nicest, most gracious folks I've ever had the pleasure to work with.

However, Kentucky must change, or we will forever be the subject of jokes and ridicule.  Therefore, I support Gatewood/Riley's efforts to tell the truth, to save Kentucky's mountains, to rejuvenate our culture and economy. With that thought in mind, here's the latest from the Gatewood/Riley gubernatorial campaign:  

"Recent news reports by both major Kentucky papers (The Courier Journal and The Lexington Herald Leader) fall short in their duty to report accurately the status of this year’s pending Gubernatorial race.  A recent article by reporter Joe Gerth of the Courier Journal reads:  “But don’t kid yourself; Williams isn’t as weak as independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith would have you believe. Galbraith went on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio show last week and said that he has pulled ahead of Williams in a recent poll.  That was an unscientific online poll conducted by WKYT television in Lexington that found Beshear with 39 percent, Galbraith with 35 percent and Williams with 26 percent of the vote”.  What the article neglected to mention is the fact Gatewood Galbraith has polled in first place, ahead of Steve Beshear, in five additional polls (The Hazard Herald, The State Journal (Frankfort), The Sentinel News, FOX 56 (Lexington) and a second WKYT poll).  Each of the above-described polls shows Williams clearly in third place. The Courier Journal further denotes skepticism when characterizing such polls, as “non scientific poll” yet there is no justifiable reason to believe those polls are more or less an indicator of the pending race than any other poll.  Joe Gerth further ads “Galbraith has traditionally done well in such polls but then finished elections in single digits.”- Gatewood Galbraith has no knowledge of anytime in his previous races in which he has enjoyed first place in such polls and the article does not show it’s source for such a statement.  The article itself is a speculative observation as to the status of each of the candidates in that no recent “scientific” poll results have been published.

Today the Lexington Herald Leader’s main story “Can David Williams make Gubernatorial Contest a Real Race?” reporter Jack Brammer makes only one reference to Independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith in the final two sentences:  “A third candidate for governor, Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith, is running as an independent. He has raised little campaign funds.”  Adequate news reporting should not be solely reliant on the amount of money each candidate has raised as the single determining factor of the success or failure of candidates especially when a journalist is specifically taking a shot in the dark in the first place.

In addition, there is no mention of Senator Williams recent statement accurately reported by Joe Sonka of LEO:  “I’m telling you, if you all really decide that Gatewood toward the end can win, and I can’t, vote for Gatewood.” Certainly that comment would serve as a relevant indicator if nothing else.  

There is little doubt these lapses skew, censor and attempt to make relevant or irrelevant polls, is occurring for the purpose to negate the obvious success of the campaign to affect the outcome.  The Courier Journal and Lexington Herald Leader should serve as the model of good journalism and adhere to established journalistic ethics standards.  The Gatewood/Riley campaign has made itself accessible to all members of the press, associations and public.   Currently Gatewood/Riley boast the largest social network sites of any of the candidates (combined) answering questions directly to constituents and further actively solicit questions and input on a daily basis.  Press releases have been issued with no response and when reporting relevant issues affecting all of Kentucky reporters have relied on and published quotes from lesser-qualified sources.  Many of the ideas and themes of Gatewood Galbraith’s former candidacy have become national news shaping policies, yet credit or even reference to his input was never attributed to Gatewood himself.  The campaign issued a specific press announcement notifying all media entities of the fact Nicole Bartlett had come on board to serve as the campaign’s communication director and included all contact information – to no avail.

The people of Kentucky have a third choice in Kentucky’s gubernatorial race and deserve to hear from each candidate.  Reporting should not be based on the number of ads purchased or amount of money raised.  The 4th branch of govt., - the media – has a duty to adequately and accurately report each of the candidates free of bias, jealousy, personal theories free of contempt.  It may be unimaginable to the Courier Journal and Lexington Herald Leader that a grass roots campaign could overcome such limitations, but it is a very realistic possibility to the people of Kentucky.  Simply we are requesting an equal chance to express our views and platform.  No other candidate has offered a specific educational program (the Commonwealth Incentive) an environmental policy statement, an agricultural/bio-industrial plan or taken a stand on behalf of Kentucky’s state workers.  Obviously it is not Gatewood/Riley 2011 that lacks substance.  If this race were based on the “issues” then we win in every category.  True our opponents have out raised us in way of money, but they have fallen short in every other category – that would be news worth reporting.

Society of Professional Journalist Code of Ethics
Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society’s principles and standards of practice.
Seek Truth and report it.  Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information

Journalists should:
  • Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
  •  Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
  •  Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
  •  Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.
  • Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
  • Never distort the content of news photos or video Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.
  • Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.
  • Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story.
  • Never plagiarize.
  • Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
  • Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.
  • Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
  • Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
  • Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
  • Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.
  • Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
  • Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.
  • Minimize  harm
  • Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.
  • Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
  • Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief:
  • Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
  • Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into        anyone’s privacy.
  • Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
  • Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.
  • Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.
  • Balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.
  • Act Independently
  • Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
  • Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
  • Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
  • Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
  • Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
  • Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
  • Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.
  • Be accountable - Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.
  • Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialog with the public over journalistic conduct.
  • Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
  • Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
  • Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
  • Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

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