#3 Propublica

Posted: February 3, 2011 by Alex Vietinghoff in #3 Propublica

When I first started reading through one of Propublica’s invesstigations, I thought to myself: “This is great, we’ve got  a news source that answers only to itself.”  It reminded me a bit of Wikileaks.  Then the negative implications of Propublica sunk in. 

People generally trust the news.  Some people reading Propublica might be trusting that they are recieving fair, unbiased reporting, but I wouldn’t say that Propublica is entirely unbiased.  Their goal is to investigate the wrongdoings in the world.  If they are appraoching everything with that purpose in mind, it seems likely that they might be a bit narrow-minded, or more partial to write about facts that reflect poorly on the company/person/whatever they’re investigating.

It leads me to wonder if I’m being given all the facts.  And why aren’t they investigating postive things?  How can society learn how to change, or do things right, when they’re only being told what they’re doing wrong? 

I was reading the article on General Electric’s omniscan.  The article presented lots of information as to why G.E. was in the wrong, but only a couple of paragraphs telling G.E.’s defence.  In the comments, a G.E. employee was defending the company.  A Propublica editor responded, the G.E. employee responded, then the Propublica editor responded.  Commenting is now closed.  Does this mean Propublica wanted to put in the last word, then not give another shot at G.E. to defend itself?  I’ve seen this on Forums, on Youtube, on Facebook, all over the internet.  It’s a cowardly thing to do.

But in the end, I think Propublica is a great tool, just a tiny bit misguided.  However, I wouldn’t change it one bit.


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