George Olive: NID climate change stories detract from public discourse
February 26, 2018
The Union's decision to run articles paid for by NID as news on the front page (see Jan. 21 and 28) raises some significant journalistic ethics issues and is unfair to readers expecting responsible reporting. These pseudo-articles are biased.
Other coverage by The Union of the proposed Centennial Dam has been balanced. But this recent approach to "reporting" on climate change and NID water storage, so far, detracts from public discourse about whether a fourth reservoir is really needed on the Bear River.
The Jan. 21 article by freelancer Trina Kleist didn't even state that the writer is being paid by NID. Has The Union's new editorial board decided to support this $500 million project? The contents of the first two articles — for instance the closing quote in the Jan. 28 piece from NID's general manager designed to frighten readers about water supplies — place The Union with other low quality media that seek to please one interest group. How about using sources other than NID's management?
Climate change is complex; water supplies are hard to predict; NID's public discussion of the Centennial project has, thus far, been less than transparent. Biased reporting only further muddies this very questionable project.
George M. Olive III
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Editor's note: The source of each story is disclosed, as are submissions from advocacy groups. The actual information is not in dispute and does not advocate a position on whether to build Centennial Dam. Indeed it can be used by either side to support or argue against a new dam. Knowledge that advocacy groups actively oppose the dam does not preclude consideration of news submissions from them, either.