AJC Continues Whitewashing Existence of Other Media
(APN) ATLANTA — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper appears to be engaging in a strategy of whitewashing the existence of other news outlets, except when it serves their purposes to mention them.
Previously, Atlanta Progressive News revealed a Cox Media memo which defined the competition as everyone who was not either the AJC, WSB Channel 2, or WSB radio.
Since then, APN has noticed three occasions in which the AJC was forced to cover something that might necessitate acknowledging the existence of another media outlets; however the AJC still managed to avoid saying their “competitors'” names.
In a September 15, 2011, article, about a forum of current and formers Mayors of Atlanta organized by Atlanta Magazine, the AJC simply noted the event was held “this week at the Atlanta History Center.”
While the location of an event is interesting to note, the Atlanta History Center was not the sponsor of the event; Atlanta Magazine was.
In a November 03, 2011, article, about the controversy stemming from Atlanta Police Department dash camara footage of Mayor Kasim Reed’s brother, Tracy Reed, driving a city vehicle without a license, the AJC refused to name CBS 46 as the source of the footage.
“Dash-camera footage of the traffic stop aired Wednesday on a local TV station,” the AJC noted, in the twelvth paragraph of the story.
“On Tuesday, the city learned from the television station that there were allegations that Tracy Reed had driven city vehicles on a suspended license,” the AJC wrote, without acknowledging the station actually has a name.
And in a December 02, 2011, article about the recent attack mailer on Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education District 2 candidate Angela Brown, the AJC avoided acknowledging APN.
The attack mailer had quoted an interview Brown had given to APN in September 2011.
“In an interview this fall in another publication,” the AJC noted, “Brown said that as long as students adhered to their school’s dress code, she was in favor of individuality.”
Then, the AJC quoted the APN article without ever using the words “Atlanta Progressive News” or APN.
“‘I had pink hair with a long earring and a short earring… my mom allowed me to do it,’ Brown said in September. ‘When it violates school policy, we have to adhere to the school policy. But whether it’s pink hair or gender bending on issues of dressing, I am definitively supportive of students doing that.’” the AJC noted.
However, the AJC did quote APN in a recent Politifact story, where it spent an entire article discussing how a Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation newsletter cited by Atlanta Progressive News overstated the acreage of a recent land purchase by the Atlanta Beltline.
Therefore, the AJC’s policy seems to be: don’t acknowledge competitors unless it’s to criticize them.
On the other hand, the Atlanta Progressive News and other news agencies–for example, Creative Loafing Atlanta magazine–consistently give credit to other news agencies for cited information.