January 6, 2015
Today marks the debut of a media project I’ve been working on for a year with writer and historian James McWilliams: The Daily Pitchfork. It’s a web site specifically dedicated to bringing accuracy and context to the way media presents and analyzes animal issues. We will do this by showcasing the best animal journalism, constructively critiquing the rest, and providing the media with valuable resources to foster the most effective coverage.
Please hop on over and poke around. Our two debut features: “Grass-Fraud Beef” and “Misrepresenting Wild Horses At The New York Times,” are reviews of articles in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times that short-change readers on facts and relevant background, failing to disclose the extent of economic self-interest underlying the article’s main sources and their “information.”
The Times piece, in particular, stirred a large reaction among readers, many of whom shared with me their outreach to the Times over what it had gotten wrong. The Times’ refusal to make corrections on a deeply flawed story earned it an “F” from the Daily Pitchfork’s editors. The Wall Street Journal article earned a “D”.
If you’re wondering what we base our standards on, you’ll find them here.
We’ll be adding site features, notably a “subscribe” button and eventually, a deep database of experts, to help journalists get animal stories rights. Stay tuned—and our thanks for spreading the word.