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Media Bias: The rationale behind the Santa Fe New Mexican’s censorship

Newpaper reporter responds

After this week’s blogposts about the Santa Fe New Mexican censoring me out of their article on social media and New Mexico’s 2013 legislative session.  I finally have received answers which are half-satisfactory!

Yesterday I explained here how the Occupy movement pestered Julie Ann Grimm after it was not included in the article, which likely had something to do with his/her lack of response to Grimm’s inquiry.  It seems Occupy and Grimm may be a bit chummy.  In any case it is quite possible Occupy New Mexico’s pressure had something to do with my being edited out of the New Mexican’s article.

The rest following which is tells the rest of the story may be of interest to those following this story:

Julie Ann Grimm says:

I’m posting this message in response to your numerous Tweets alleging some kind of conspiracy at play. Please note that I did not receive any response from @politixfireball after I sought your comment.
My goal was to give our readers a slice of the social media that was prevalent during the legislative session. An early version of the story featured a paragraph about this Twitter handle and about the governor’s. When no one from either handle replied to give more context, I removed those two sentences late that evening.
The version that originally published to our website contained those sentences as well as spelling error in the word “whip” that we caught in time for the print edition. That content should have been replaced online with the final print version of the story before midnight. A system error prevented this from happening. Late the next day, we made the identical changes on our web version.

In the comments that followed I declared I had emailed Grimm and she requested the email in question.  The following is our correspondence on that platform:

Forwarded:

From: PolitixFireball

Ms. Grimm,

Thank you for your interest in interviewing me regarding the legislative session and the role of social media. Unfortunately at this time I am not available for interview via phone, but I appreciate your contacting me.

If I can be of assistance in another way please let me know.

-Politix Fireball

*     *     *

From: Julie Ann Grimm:

Thanks for sending this.  I’m not sure what went wrong with your first try.  I’ve cross checked the sent-from address in and find no record on my end from March 18.  I suppose this is a moot point since the message says you were not available to comment — the outcome is the same.

So, should I call you Mr. Fireball? What’s your real name?

*     *     *

From: Politix Fireball:

Ms. Grimm,

I am available for comment via email and never stated otherwise.

The fact that I did not reply via phone is not a satisfactory reason for removal of a paragraph from an article.  It was not edited out because it was an error.  More likely it is excised because it did not fit with the flow of the article which painted Republicans across the state of New Mexico as ineffectual.  The fact is that though right-leaning conservatives and Republicans are outnumbered we are not completely incompetent and unable to hold our own and win in the end.

Take for instance the opposition to HB-77.  There were many outspoken advocates on both sides of the bill.  I spoke out against all who supported the bill, whether members of the Democratic Party or Republican Party.  Those blogposts may be found here.  Later using my Twitter account I participated in an effort to stop HB-77 from being passed in committees and then by the Senate.  A fellow blogger kept track of emails sent through his website to Senators, numbering into the thousands.  Social media was a primary platform in this effort and we contacted many on the grassroots level urging them to contact Senators and the Governor, which they did.  According to Gov. Martinez office, her line was flooded with phone calls in the days just before the end of the 2013 legislative session as people across the state called to voice their opposition to bills like HB-77.

Hopefully in the future a level of integrity will be maintained in articles published by The Santa Fe New Mexican.  Just as you were outraged at IPRA redaction as you mentioned here, I see a form of injustice when the content of an article is edited and the record is changed without the acceptable reasons of grammar, spelling or incorrect information.  Our media has a responsibility to remain as factual as possible or the purpose of their writing is null.

-Politix Fireball

*     *     *

From: Julie Ann Grimm:

Feel free to contact my editor, Rob Dean at rdean@sfnewmexican.com or 986-3033. He’s out sick today, however.

I’m not going to engage in further correspondence unless you identify yourself.

I’ve copied in our opinion page editor. If you are interested in submitting an op-ed, send it to letters@sfnewmexican.com.

*     *     *

Now to see what the future holds…

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