Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wisconsin and Misleading Headlines

The controversy in Wisconsin hit its high point, or low point (depending on your view), this evening as the Senate Republicans in Wisconsin pulled a surprise move to pass legislation that reportedly sent the hiding Democrats running...make that high-tailing it... out of Illinois.

According to the proposal, raises would be limited to inflation unless a bigger increase was approved in a referendum. The non-law enforcement unions would lose their rights to bargain over anything but wages, would have to hold annual elections to keep their organizations intact and would lose the ability to have union dues deducted from state paychecks.

What has been annoying me most are the misleading headlines I've been reading that the news organizations are using to tell this story. For example:

Wisconsin Senate passes public-sector union ban (Reuters)
- The union is NOT banned in this proposal! It gives workers a choice.

Wis. GOP bypasses Dems, cuts collective bargaining - (Yahoo! News / AP)
- Collective bargaining STILL exists. There are just some limits put in place.

Wisconsin Senate GOP Tries Nuclear Option for Passing Anti-Union Bill (Slate)
- Why is it considered anti-union? Maybe it's just pro tax payers.

Rallies support fight against Wis. anti-union bill (AP)
- The word 'anti' is an adjective. Even AP won't be objective?

Wis. Senate GOP Votes to Strip State Workers of Collective Bargaining Rights (Fox)
- Some of the bargaining rights have been stripped. Not ALL.

Wis. Republicans Press Forward on Anti-Union Bill - (ABC News)
- There's that anti-union term AGAIN.

When opinion is put in the headline, you can bet you'll find it in the story too. I want the facts from the media, not spin with words.

You may feel that the proposal is anti-union. You may feel that the proposal is a necessary change. YOU have the right to your opinion. Journalists and their editors DO NOT while they are on the job. They are not supposed to inject their opinion into the news OR their headlines.

- Mary-Lynn

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