My oh my… the AJ-C’s Chip Towers asks the big question at his blog today: is his newspaper biased against UGA? (Never fear, Chip absolves his employer.)
Chip expresses shock and dismay that any rational person could believe otherwise, and then proceeds to set up a red and black straw man that he can knock down:
This really surprises me. It seems as though the UGA fans, our at least those most fervent ones that subscribe to this paid site, believe it’s the job of a newspaper or news organization to be a booster of the school and/or its athletics department. By contrast, they believe we make it our full-time job to discredit the school. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Gee, thanks for the reassurance. Can we get back to reality now?
Look, the problem with the AJ-C isn’t that it’s biased towards or against a particular school’s athletic program. It’s that it’s biased towards sensationalism. The paper has a target audience it wants to reach (thousands of fervent supporters) and has found that the best way to do so is to stir ’em up.
Here are some recent examples:
- the “tumult” at Georgia after the last two alcohol related arrests
- TSN’s “prediction” that Vandy would upset Georgia in football for the second year in a row
- Georgia’s “horrible” spring game defense
And this is how Towers describes his paper’s mission in reporting:
A great deal of what we do at newspapers has to do with watchdog reporting, which very simply means that business is being done in a righteous way without abusing powers bestowed upon it by the public.
I am a loss to see how this pomposity explains any of the above linked articles that his paper published. Exactly what does asking whether Stafford should be suspended for being photographed holding a keg over his head have to do with making sure that “business is being done in a righteous way”?
Nothing, of course. But it does get us to read the AJ-C.