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Monday, January 22, 2007
CNS Takes a Stab at Balance

We haven't written much on's news coverage lately -- that's because CNS seems to be making a concerted effort to offer at least somewhat balanced coverage. This might have to do with the recent promotion of Patrick Goodenough, a former CNS international bureau chief, to managing editor. We don't recall the last time we singled out a Goodenough article for bias or bad reporting, which suggests that he's applying those standards across CNS.

That's not to say CNS doesn't fall back to its old ways on occasion. For instance, a Jan. 4 article by Susan Jones is essentially a Traditional Values Coalition press release that attacks a congressional proposal to add restrictions on lobbying efforts -- or, according to the TVC as reported by Jones, "an aggressive plan to 'muzzle' conservative groups through lobby reform" -- without offering any opposing view, let alone a neutral description of the legislation.

By contrast, a Jan. 16 article by Monisha Bansal on the same subject gave space to a group supporting the bill, though it presented 12 paragraphs of argument against it before getting to the proponents. It's still somewhat slanted -- what we've come to expect from the ConWeb -- but it did present both sides of the story, something that doesn't happen with Jones' press release-based grind-'em-out items.

Jones' Jan. 19 follow-up on the vote on the bill, however, goes back to old patterns by quoting only Republicans and conservative groups.

Telling the whole story, and not regurgitating press releases, is what truly serves readers, whatever their political affiliation. We hope CNS continues to improve on this front until it genuinely lives up to its mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EST

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