Friday, March 25, 2005

Nader Visit or Hoedown?

Dear Editor,

Ralph Nader will be at the Wood Theater on April 16th. Tickets can be purchased at Rock Hill Café. People of many political stripes have expressed to me how wonderful it is to have such a nationally known speaker come and “christen” our new theater. Why our “community-minded” newspaper won’t see this as well is beyond me. You have printed two small buried stories on his upcoming visit. I wonder if Bush or Kerry (or Hillary) would only get 600 words without photos if they visited?

Nice coverage on Lee Ann Womack, though. Her impending concert has already had over 2100 words and three photos published. You guys must have a real serious “hankering to hoedown”. Four or five times the coverage of a presidential candidate. Wow!

Using your archives, I see that Nader was mentioned in the Post Star 26 times during last year’s campaign. Twenty-one of those “hits” were stories or letters in which he was only mentioned, leaving only five small wire stories to cover his entire six-month presidential campaign. By comparison, there were over 1,000 articles about Bush and Kerry (most with pictures). Should it surprise any of us that independents are rarely elected when our own media doesn’t cover them at all?

When I’ve complained about the Post Star’s overt, two-party bias, I’m always told, “We’re a ‘local’ paper. We’re slaves to the wire”. Well, here’s your chance to fix that. I’m making Ralph Nader a ‘local’ story for you. Will you give him another 1500 words and a few pictures to even things up with your advance Womack promotion? Will you stop ignoring his visit (and his legacy)? I really hope you’ll take the high road, here, and show some journalistic integrity to make up for how terribly biased your campaign coverage was last year.

Matt Funiciello