11 January 2008

VOA's US Election Debate Coverage: A Complaint

Some of you have written in complaining about the fact that we did not mention Republican presidential contender and Texas Congressman Ron Paul in our correspondent report on the Republican presidential debate on January 10th. http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-01-11-voa8.cfm

We asked VOA's National Correspondent Jim Malone to consider these complaints and respond. Although Mr. Paul is shown in a photo of the participants in our web version, Jim says:

"Those of you who raised objections have a point. We should have mentioned his name along with the other Republican contenders who took part."

As Jim points out: "This is an example of the challenges that face all news organizations when it comes to balancing coverage of the so-called frontrunners in both political parties and those other contenders who remain in the race but not at the forefront of the polls or fundraising."

We would like to point out a story by our Houston-based correspondent filed earlier this month http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-01-02-voa38.cfm that dealt exclusively with the Paul campaign and the buzz he has generated in the general election debate and in his ability to raise campaign funds through the Internet.

1 comment:

Fair_Enough said...

Apology accepted.

Making mistakes (factual or judgmental) is not a problem, provided it isn't intentional or repetitive. Two things to keep in mind:

1) We aren't talking about some enormous number of candidates that had to be winnowed down in the name of brevity. There were six candidates and five got mentioned. That is suspect any way you choose to look at it.

2) Dr. Paul beat the pants off Guiliani in the Iowa caucuses -- not "opinion polls", mind you -- but final and official ballot results. Candidates who beat supposed "front runners" in actual elections should never be marginalized the very next week.

Having said that, I don't think he's the perfect candidate or some sort of political savior, but I do believe that the man deserves to have his existence at least noted somewhere. Thank you for ensuring that VOA's coverage in such a crucial election will be broad, encompassing, and factual.

After all, We the People are narrow-minded enough as it is!

Sean from CA