The disparity between the coverage The Washington Post gave to Saturday’s “One Nation” rally and the Beck rally in August is unmistakable. One need only click on the link of stories of each to see the difference. Click on “Full coverage: Beck, Sharpton rallies” and the results are:
· Al Sharpton’s ‘Reclaim the Dream’ march (video)
· Beck, Palin tell thousands to ‘restore America’ (main story)
· Palin: ‘We must restore America’ (video)
· Today’s rallies (graphic)
For the “One Nation” rally:
· One Nation on the National Mall (photos)
· On the Mall, a counter to conservatives (video)
· Marching for jobs (video)
· Share your rally photos (reader provided)
· Share your political signs photos (reader provided)
· DC rally shows support for struggling Democrats (AP story)
The lead-up to the rallies offers a similar difference.
In the week before Beck’s “Restoring Honor” march, The Post published:
· Three op-eds and
· a 2,342-word story on how the march would be a “measure of tea party strength.”
· On the day of the march, you published a 2,722-word story on the “meaning of the march.”
· Plus a 795-word story about TV coverage of the march.
· And a 1,331-word story on how to host a march on the Mall, giving further exposure to Mr. Beck’s march.
The longer two stories were reported on page A4.
In the week before Saturday’s “One Nation” march, The Post published:
· one op-ed in the print edition,
· one 669-word story Thursday and
· a 500-word story on the day of the march (compared to Beck’s 2,722 word story).
Bottom line: more than 7,000 words for the conservative rally (not counting op-eds) and less than 1,200 for the progressive rally.
(Meanwhile, on Saturday, The Post also had a 1,168-word story about how abused Tea Partiers are by their friends and neighbors.)
On the day after the Beck rally, Post coverage was much more expansive, including a main story that included contributions from nine Post reporters. Apparently, three covered the One Nation rally.
This disparity in coverage is ongoing. Back in April, The Post covered two conservative marches in Washington that totaled no more than 2,100 tea-party and gun rights protesters in Washington. Coverage was by no less than four Post staffers, while a New York City march of about 7,500 progressive protesters garnered 300 words by one reporter.
In the Post ombudsman’s response to me at the time, he said the two rallies by conservatives received greater attention because they were local.
I believe the Mall is still in D.C. and that’s still local.
No “meaning” of Saturday’s progressive march story or one on a “measure of progressive strength”?
I can remember the paucity of coverage to a 2002 march on Washington against the Iraq War. Coverage was relegated to the Metro section of The Post.
My research tools are limited to The Post’s web site and Lexis-Nexis, so I may have missed some stories. But there seems without doubt that The Post has a habit of allocating fewer resources and less coverage to marches by the left than it does by those on the right. I would not subscribe the differences to the reporters. Rather, it is editors who seem to have different standards of coverage.