Skip to comments.A Small Success at the Washington Post!
Posted on 12/27/2004 2:38:32 PM PST by FreeManDC
A Small Success at the Washington Post!
Last week the Washington Post ran a three-part series on Maternal Homicide and Domestic Violence that was an example of writing (it didnt qualify as journalism) that appealed more to the emotions than the intellect.
But this time around, we were ready. Thanks to a cooperative effort among several groups, we hit a home run!
On Saturday, the Post ran two excellent letters to the editor see below.
And then on Sunday, the WP Ombudsman Michael Getler devoted one-third of his weekly column to a critique of the series again, see below. This was his best line: The criticism that seemed most worthy of attention was directed at the statistical underpinnings of the project, especially those statistics that were not in the articles, and the cautions about the data.
This time we proved that we are capable of mounting a fast-response; that we are able to generate hundreds of emails, phone calls and letters from around the country; and that we are able to be heard by a high-ranking editor at the Post.
A hearty clap on the back to everyone who helped to make this a success!
And while youre still in the generous Christmas spirit, why not send Mr. Getler a quick thank-you note? We want to show our appreciation -- and give him a subtle reminder that we will continue to closely monitor the Washington Posts coverage of the domestic violence issue!
Heres how to contact him:
Michael Getler, Ombudsman E-mail: ombudsman-at-washpost.com Telephone: 202-334-7582
Uncommonly Rare Violence Saturday, December 25, 2004; Page A27 www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25144-2004Dec24.html
The Dec. 19 front-page article "Many New or Expectant Mothers Die Violent Deaths," the first part of a three-part series, detailed gruesome killings of pregnant women but failed to inform the reader that the likelihood of being murdered by an intimate while you are pregnant is about 1 in 12,000. This is only slightly greater than the chance of being murdered that anyone in the United States has (about 1 in 16,000). The murder of a pregnant woman is obviously horrible, but it is quite infrequent. But this didn't stop the author from using phrases such as "social syndrome" and using quotes like "People have this misconception that pregnancy is a safe haven" to make this tragedy appear commonplace. Contrast this article with the plight of a young black man living in Washington, whose chance of being killed is far greater. We need front-page articles about why black men are being murdered. That is truly a social syndrome.
-- Tom Golden Gaithersburg
As if the relentless coverage of the Laci Peterson murder case was not enough, your series "Many New or Expectant Mothers Die Violent Deaths" seems to suggest that pregnant women and young mothers, tragically, are more likely to be murdered. But the facts presented in your story suggest that their murder rates may be lower than the rate for women overall. The story reports "1,367 pregnant women and new mothers" murdered since 1990. However, using 100 murders and about 4 four million live births annually (see the U.S. Statistical Abstract) yields a murder rate for pregnant women of about 2.5 per 100,000 over the past 14 years, well below the 3.5 for all women. Both of these rates should have been reported to give a truer picture of the threat.
-- Darryl McLeod Tarrytown, N.Y.
Ombudsman A High Percentage of Attention By Michael Getler Sunday, December 26, 2004; Page B06
The three stories that readers most focused on last week all dealt with numbers and statistics .. The next day, The Post spread across the top of the Sunday front page the first of a three-part series titled "Pregnancy and Homicide/The Unknown Toll." The banner headline read: "Many New or Expectant Mothers Die Violent Deaths." There is not enough room in this column to do justice to the content of this series or to discuss the pros and cons of those who wrote to me with critical comments.
The Post, and reporter Donna St. George, produced a prodigious, valuable, year-long but timely journalistic effort. Told mostly through dramatic accounts, it documented, well beyond recent daily headlines, the extent to which homicides against pregnant women and new mothers occur in this country, a far greater extent than most of us probably realize.
The criticism that seemed most worthy of attention was directed at the statistical underpinnings of the project, especially those statistics that were not in the articles, and the cautions about the data. Those cautions -- that there was a risk of overstating the problem and that a significant number of deaths by violence did not seem to be related to childbearing -- were included but were skipped over quickly. The subject and the series -- focusing on "the hidden risks of pregnancy" and with that big headline emphasizing the "many" who "die violent deaths" -- both informed and alarmed.
But, as one critic put it, the series "has no statistics to demonstrate that homicide is a greater risk to pregnant women than to non-pregnant women." Several readers cited Justice Department statistics that murder rates among both men and women have been falling steadily for more than a decade, and that murder rates among "intimates" have also been falling. Others said that teenage pregnancy and other inherently risky conditions do not imply "a higher risk of homicide among pregnant women generally," as one put it.
Just another example of the feminists blowinglies all over the place.
It is surprizing that the WP admits to it.
Is that light at the end of the tunnel or merely the reflection of our flashlights?
So the Washington Post paid this reporter a full year's salary to produce a politically correct feminist tear-jerker that was completely unraveled by two intelligent readers who simply bothered to take a few hours to check the statistics.
The MSM at work.
This Just In:
Over 35 MILLION+ Children Killed in The United States of America by Mothers and Doctors through abortion.
Where is your front page story and series on that WP.
Thanks for the heads up, but it does not diminish the damge that has already been done.
I mean, how many subscribers read the Ombudsman or the LTTE section.
And how many spread this around at dinner tables lately, without "The Rest of The Story"
Oh dear, go ahead and get an abortion it's safer and you won't be killed by your mate.
These pathetic libs have to be stopped by getting good judges in our courtrooms.
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