Friday, July 13, 2007

Party Label Disparity in AP Coverage of Crooked Politicians |

Party Label Disparity in AP Coverage of Crooked Politicians

"So let's see, a Democratic former North Carolina state House Speaker gets
sentenced to prison for five years and fined $50,000 for bribery. The Associated
Press covers the story and doesn't give readers his party affiliation until the
6th paragraph.
But a Florida Republican state legislator is only arrested
for solicitation of oral sex from an undercover male police officer, and his
party affiliation is rendered in the second paragraph of the AP story.
That doesn't seem to square with the AP Stylebook, which says party affiliation
mention should be tested by relevance to the story and that in some stories
'[p]arty affiliation is pointless.'"

I think that in stories of crimes, a party affiliation should only be put in the story if the crime involves the party the person is a member of, or is a crime against another party. You couldn't talk about the crimes around Watergate without understand the party affiliations, but you could talk about the crimes of Mark Foley without party affiliation. The people that the subject represent will know what party that person is a member of.

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