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Thursday, March 2, 2006
Press Release Journalism
Topic: WorldNetDaily
A March 2 WorldNetDaily article demonstrates once again WND's Achilles' heel: depending on press releases for news and lacking initiative to flesh out what the press release doesn't say (as WND has amply demonstrated with its "war on Christmas" coverage).

The WND article describes the arrest of an American, Peter Waldron, in Uganda. The article states that "family and friends" of Waldron call the charges against Waldron "trumped-up," but 1) nobody in the article is quoted as actually saying that, and 2) the only person quoted in the article is Waldron friend Dave Racer, whom WND admits "issued a press release on the arrest." That release, excerpted on Racer's website, is apparently where the "trumped-up" quote comes from. Thus, it appears that the article tells only what Racer wants told about Waldron.

For the rest of the story, we must go to blogger Robert Bartholomew, who points out that Waldron's theology "draws explicitly on Rousas Rushdoony and Christian Reconstructionism." Rushdoony's brand of conservatism mirrors the views of WND editor Joseph Farah, as we've noted.

We have no knowledge of or opinion about the validity of the charges against Waldron. We do know that while WND's reporting on the issue (if you call rewriting a press release "reporting") has been outclassed by a blogger with fewer resources.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:00 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, March 2, 2006 4:25 PM EST

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