Advocacy journalism, Cohen-style

Owen Courreges calls attention to advocacy journalism posing as news that is brazen even by Chronicle standards:

The Rev. Carolyn J. Mobley and her partner, Adrain Bowie, say they consider themselves "thrice blessed" as black, gay women.

Not everyone they encounter shares the sentiment.

"Those who don't want to acknowledge the whole of me, God bless them," Bowie said Wednesday. "They've missed out on the blessing of me."

Black same-sex couples such as Bowie and Mobley would be disproportionately harmed by anti-gay marriage policies, says a report released Wednesday by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Institute and the National Black Justice Coalition.

The reporting is not balanced by any statement from those who advocate traditional marriage, nor is there any indication that according to one survey, only 28% of blacks as a group support gay marriage (contrasted with 32% support among whites, and 36% support among Hispanics surveyed).

One imagines, though, that Jeff Cohen had to smile at this interest-group-oriented advocacy journalism. After all, he laid out the plan for it to Texas Monthly's Evan Smith shortly after taking the reins at the Chronicle:

He talked about retooling the business pages so that women, minorities, and small-business owners would read them, "not just CEOs of Fortune 500 companies." He wants the front page of every section to have stories that appeal to "Hispanics, African Americans, Jews, single moms, the elderly—all the people in the community."

Rosanna Ruiz probably earned herself a bonus by working three such groups (gays, blacks, and women) into a single story.

Posted by Kevin Whited @ 10/07/04 10:10 PM | Print |

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