Thursday, May 24, 2007

Content in the Vick-dogfighting story

The Virginia-Pilot (via the Starting Five) reports that "Commonwealth's Attorney Gerald G. Poindexter said Wednesday that investigators still lack solid evidence linking Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick--or anybody, for that matter--to dog fighting." That's not inconsistent with what Poindexter has earlier said: "I'm convinced from what I saw that dog fighting has occurred down there, but who was involved in it I don't know at this point" (ProFootballTalk). Linda McNatt of the Virginia-Pilot covers the story the way the media should be covering the story: by speaking to investigators close to the situation and quoting them by name.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also has the same story from the Associated Press, with a slightly different way of expressing the details: "Poindexter told the AJC last week that it appears dogfighting did take place in a room inside the two-story house on the property, but it could take several weeks to determine whether charges would be filed and against whom. At least six people could be involved, Poindexter said. Evidence is still being reviewed to determine if Vick is among those being targeted, Poindexter said."

It is interesting the way two different papers can spin the same story. When the V-P says "
investigators still lack solid evidence linking Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick--or anybody, for that matter--to dog fighting," you get a very different representation than when the AJC says "Evidence is still being reviewed to determine if Vick is among those being targeted." Neither paper is distorting the facts; however, the word choice in the presentation slants the story. The V-P story almost suggests dog fighting didn't occur, while the AJC story specifically mentions Poindexter's assertion that dog fighting did occur.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via PFT) reports that "
NFL security has contacted investigators in Surry County, Va., to offer its services in the investigation of illegal dogfighting at property owned by Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution." Steve Wyche of the AJC gives another good content-based report of the story.

If you're following the story, these articles are very relevant and useful. The V-P and the AJC, because they are close to the situation, have been reporting on the story very well. I've now just bookmarked these two newspapers since they are doing a better job covering the story than national news outlets are doing (and other news sources are either linking to or citing these papers in stories they do).

3 comments:

  1. PV-
    Nice to comment over here!

    The AJC is not nearly as close to the story as the V-P. Read their articles and check out how often they refer to other newspapers for their information in relation to the story....

    And, as I replied in the comments over at TSF, Poindexter's "conflicting" quotes was made - now - nine days ago and the case has evolved on almost a daily basis, so to use it to imply that Poindexter is flip-flopping is a misrepresentation of his perspectives on the case.

    In fact, all the quote is good for is to illustrate is: 1) how quickly events within an investigation can change and 2) how evidence can be skewed depending on who is doing the talking and relating the evidence to others....

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  2. I said his new statements were "not inconsistent," but it looks like Poindexter's statements on the matter may now be moot: according to WAVY (via PFT), he's referred the case to the Attorney General. That's probably a good idea all around.

    http://www.wavy.com/Global/story.asp?S=6566903

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  3. Yeah, I have that new Poindexter news up at my spot, too...

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