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Is the media piling on Jerome Block, Jr. and the Public Regulation Commission? That’s what PRC commissioner Ben Hall says. He notes that in America people are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Granted, a day seldom goes by without a new charge against Block making headlines. First I will note that all media are very careful to use words like alleged, charged and faces when talking about accused lawbreakers. It allows company lawyers to sleep better at night.
There has been one recent exception. For a brief period between jobs, former state public safety chief Darren White was the crime reporter for an Albuquerque television channel.
Station management reportedly joked that during his brief stint, White convicted more people than the district attorney by not being careful to use language presuming innocence.
But care in use of language aside, the media have found a fertile source of news in headline stories about daily revelations of Block’s missteps.
Hall suggests that we report on good actions the PRC takes. The question is whether you would read it.
Local newspapers go in and out of business based on the belief that people want to hear good news. That is what they say. But do they mean it?
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