Boston Globe publishes balanced account of police shooting

Boston Globe publishes balanced account of police shooting

PE Bias Grade : A

By: Allen Nitschelm on September 24, 2020 | Article Review

This is a review of the following Boston Globe Article:
Article Title In blow to Taylor family, 1 officer indicted
Date 09/24/2020
Article Link Boston Globe ( Page A1 )
Syndicated From New York Times
Journalist John Eligont
Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs
Rukmini Callimachi
Article Summary

Boston Globe reports on grand jury indictment of one officer in Breonna Taylor’s death in Louisville, Kentucky.

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The Boston Globe had a random act of responsible journalism in today’s paper covering the Breonna Taylor shooting and the grand jury indictment of one of the officers in Kentucky.

I only read one minor comment which showed some bias, but it was deep inside the article and wasn’t blatant. The article reported that one neighbor heard police announce their presence and knocked before breaking down the door, which meant that those inside could have been more hesitant to initiate firing their gun, which hit an officer and resulted in the return fire which killed Taylor.

The press widely reported that the police had a “no knock” warrant, which is true. But that implies they burst in, surprising the residents. Instead, the truth indicates this was just a terrible accident and not a case of police misconduct (the officer who was charged fired his weapon randomly, potentially injuring others recklessly.)

The article includes the pejorative description that the New York Times interviewed “nearly” a dozen neighbors to find the one who heard the knock and announcement, implying that perhaps others didn’t hear it or even that the neighbor might be lying. This is irresponsible and without foundation. If a person heard it, then it happened, regardless of how many didn’t hear it. Imagine if the paper had written that they interviewed “thousands“ of residents and only one had heard the police knocking and announcement. So this particular extraneous detail was unnecessary and showed some bias, but I won’t downgrade the article for it.

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Allen Nitschelm is publisher of PublicEditorMA.com. He critiques the Boston Globe, mostly focusing on the bias in their news reporting. News articles are graded for bias, and the website has a listing of the average bias ratings for all reporters reviewed. See our website for more information and the four categories of articles we publish.

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