Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Article by Fresno Audubon president re: CSUF Water Debate/Llloyd Carter Controversy

In a classic case of mainstream media's corporate bias and conflict of interest, a KMPH reporter Ashley Ritchie, the recipient of over $300,000 in farm subsidies and member of a wealthy South Valley farming family, decided to include without context the most damning remarks of her interview with local environmentalist and thorn in agribusiness' side, Lloyd Carter. Journalistic ethical standards recommend that reporters avoid and at the very least disclose financial conflicts of interest. Ritchie did neither and should not have been covering agricultural issues, particularly those as contentious as the ones discussed at the Fresno State water debate February 4th. In the highly edited clip broadcast on the news and oft repeated on air and in print over the following days Carter says with respect to some farmworkers, "They're not even American citizens for starters. Do you think we should employ illegal aliens? What parent raises their child to be a farm worker? These kids are the least educated people in America or the southwest corner of this Valley. They turn to lives of crime. They go on welfare. They get into drug trafficking and they join gangs..." This in response to a comment about agriculture's contribution to our Valley.


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