Local commercial news media in one-paper towns are obliged to do their best to present a balanced perspective, especially on controversial topics. True objectivity is difficult, but the public’s primary source of news needs to do its very best.
And yet, consider the Times-Herald’s headlines Oct. 13-16, each of which accompanied a sweet photo of the fast-tracked Trump/GOP sham nominee, Amy Coney Barrett:
VALLEJO TIMES-HERALD HEADLINE DEPARTURES FROM ORIGINAL AP HEADLINES
- Original AP headline on Oct. 13: “Barrett vows fair approach as justice, Democrats skeptical”
- VT-H headline: Barrett vows fair approach
- Original AP headline on Oct. 14: “Barrett bats away tough Democratic confirmation probing”
- VT-H headline: Barrett unscathed by tough questions
- Original AP headline on Oct 16: “GOP pushes Barrett toward court as Democrats decry ‘sham’”
- VT-H headline: GOP pushes Barrett’s nomination ahead
When approached by email, Times-Herald Editor Jack Bungart let me know that staff does not write the paper’s headlines. Their “pagination hub” converts from an Associated Press headline according to “what fits in each situation.”
So who or what is the “pagination hub” serving our friendly staff at the Vallejo Times-Herald? Is there bias at work here? Who, exactly, is responsible for the seemingly partial editing of the AP headlines that came up with these pro-Barrett Times-Herald headlines?!
Come on, Vallejo T-H “pagination hub”. Who are you? In the future, give us a more nuanced and accurate first look at the day’s highly controversial news.