Journalistic irresponsibility at its worst at the Journal Sentinel

Since I started blogging in 2007 I’ve done my fair share of criticizing the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and with good reasons.

The blatant liberal bias.

The loony, out of touch editorials.

The bias extends to the editorial page and the letters to the editor.

The erosion of comprehensive local coverage caused by one layoff after another.

But nothing is as bad as what has occurred in the past day or so.

His killing sparked hours of violent protests on the city's predominantly black north side

In the riot story that has gained national attention, the riot, and that’s what it was, a riot erupted after a black police officer justifiably shot and killed an armed black man. In an incredible and total lack of judgment the paper identified the officer.

The officer is now reportedly out of state, in fear of his own life. The Journal Sentinel after naming the officer is also reporting that the officer is the target of threats on social media. The threats are serious, vile, vulgar, and racist. They are advocating the murder of the officer. Imagine that.

Other media outlets have also named the officer. That doesn’t make it right or absolve the Journal Sentinel.

I’ve been involved in news in some form or fashion for nearly 40 years. When I first cut my teeth in journalism I was working at WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio. We had a policy that we would never name a suspect unless the suspect had been criminally charged. Why? Because that was the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Sentinel’s policy so our news director wanted to blindly follow suit. Never understood that.

I’m not sure if that’s still the policy of the paper. Seems they may have steered away from it. But for decades they refused to name folks who’d been arrested with probable cause because they had not been charged. For decades they gave more protection to the identities of real criminals than they gave to a police officer who was merely doing his duty. Now that officer has found it necessary to flee because he’s been outed and probably targeted.

What purpose could the Journal Sentinel have possibly had in engaging in this dereliction of principles? Some big atta-boy scoop?

Can’t wait to hear George Stanley, the managing editor come up with some flimsy excuse, and no doubt he will because whenever he writes a piece it’s to inform us what a phenomenal job he and his staff are doing.

In reality they are complicit in putting an innocent police officer’s life in danger. Certainly nothing to be proud of.

UPDATE: George Stanley’s explanation

Media’s ‘unrest’ doesn’t describe chaos that Milwaukee confronted


2 thoughts on “Journalistic irresponsibility at its worst at the Journal Sentinel

  1. Pingback: My Most Important Blogs (08/22/16) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

  2. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (08/22/16) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s