Miami Herald

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  • Spanish Language Networks Left Out Important Context Regarding Marco Rubio Running For Re-election

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    In their coverage of Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) announcement that he will seek re-election the two major Hispanic TV news networks, Univision and Telemundo, failed to report the senator’s dismal record on issues that matter to their Latino audiences -- issues local Florida papers, in contrast, rightly highlighted.

    On June 22, Rubio took to Fox News to announce his re-election bid, claiming the June 12 mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando motivated his reentry into the Senate race. Previously, Rubio had declared he would be “leaving the Senate,” calling it dysfunctional. Florida papers criticized Rubio’s “thin record” and “absenteeism” from the Senate during his first term, as well as his recent votes against stricter gun safety legislation in the aftermath of the Orlando attack. The Tampa Bay Times’ Adam Smith called Rubio an “opportunist” and chided him for using his seat in the Senate to prepare for a “political comeback.” The Miami Herald editorial board wrote that Rubio was taking advantage of the Orlando tragedy to launch his re-election campaign and criticized him for “voting the straight NRA line this week by nixing all efforts to impose sensible control on firearms.”

    In contrast, coverage by the two major Hispanic TV news networks, Univision and Telemundo, failed to provide such context while reporting on Rubio’s decision to run. On the June 22 edition of Univision’s Noticiero Univision, coverage of Rubio’s bid spanned less than 30 seconds and consisted mainly of anchor Jorge Ramos reading from Rubio’s official statement. Telemundo’s Noticiero Telemundo also limited its coverage to Rubio’s basic talking points and the senator’s own justification for running.

    The networks’ failure to point out that Rubio’s record includes missing votes and hearings, as well as inaction on gun legislation, flip-flops on immigration, lies about undocumented immigrants, and opposition to women’s reproductive rights -- all issues that disproportionately affect the Hispanic community.

  • "Do Your Job": Editorials Implore Senate GOP To Rise Above "Obstruction" And Act On Merrick Garland

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS & TYLER CHERRY

    Newspaper editorials roundly urged Senate Republicans to stop obstructing the nomination process of Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama's pick for the Supreme Court vacancy. The editorials chastised "obstructionist" senators for their "stupendous show of political malfeasance" and warned that the obstruction is "out of sync with the nation's best interests," among other criticisms.

  • Newspaper Editorial Boards Overwhelmingly Urge Senate To "Do Your Job" And Vote On Obama's SCOTUS Nominee

    ››› ››› KATE SARNA

    Newspaper editorial boards are overwhelmingly urging GOP Senate leadership to hold hearings and vote on President Obama's Supreme Court nomination to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. A vast number of the boards have called GOP pledges to block a nomination "outrageous," "irresponsible," obstructionism rooted in "partisan self-interest" which "deeply damages the operation of the Judiciary Branch" and "represents an act of disrespect to Justice Scalia."

  • How The Florida Governor's Office Manipulated Media By Altering The Findings Of An Investigation Into Planned Parenthood

    ››› ››› RACHEL LARRIS

    The Florida agency tasked with investigating Planned Parenthood clinics in that state found no evidence that they were mishandling fetal remains, but Gov. Rick Scott's office altered the agency's statements to remove language that exonerated Planned Parenthood, and added new language that made the organization look guilty of wrongdoing. Several media outlets unwittingly quoted the statements before the misleading edits were discovered.

  • Miami Herald Papers Rarely Mention Medicaid Expansion's Relevance To The Hispanic Community

    ››› ››› SALVATORE COLLELUORI & CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, sister papers both published by the Miami Herald Media Company, barely mentioned the importance of Medicaid expansion to the Hispanic community in their coverage of the issue following the end of Florida's congressional session despite Medicaid expansion being a prominent campaign issue. Studies have shown that Medicaid expansion in Florida, an issue polling has found important to Hispanics, would have a significant beneficial impact on the Hispanic community.

  • Top Journalists Speak Out On Lack Of Female Editors

    Panel On Gender Gap In Journalism Draws Large Crowd At Editors Conference

    Blog ››› ››› JOE STRUPP

    The downward trend of female leaders in U.S. newsrooms took center stage at the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) conference in Chicago, with editors calling for better efforts to put women in top editing roles and grooming younger female journalists to eventually take the top spot.

    The concerns about the decreasing numbers of female editors were heightened in May when New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson was fired. Last week, the influential Nieman Reports -- a publication from Harvard University's Nieman Foundation For Journalism -- devoted an entire article to the subject, headlined, "Where are the Women?"

    The Nieman report, by reporter Anna Griffin, stated:

    The results of this gender disparity in leadership are especially pernicious in journalism. To best serve the public as watchdogs and truth-tellers, news organizations need a broad array of voices and perspectives. To thrive financially, they must appeal to an equally broad array of potential viewers, listeners, and readers. Plus, content analyses and anecdotal evidence suggest that a newsroom leader's gender can have a subtle but important influence on everything from what stories get covered and how, to who gets promoted and why.

    Specifically, Griffin cited ASNE data released earlier this year that women serve as top editors in just three of the nation's 25 largest papers, eight of the 25 largest papers with circulations under 100,000, and three of the top 25 under 50,000. Abramson left the Times after the census was completed; her departure means that now none of the top ten daily papers have a woman at the helm and only two of the top 25.

    Griffin also noted a 2014 Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) survey that said women comprise just 31 percent of TV news directors and 20 percent of general managers, "despite making up more than 40 percent of the TV workforce. The same survey found that women accounted for just 23 percent of radio news directors and 18 percent of general managers."

    Such data did not sit well with attendees at the ASNE conference, both men and women, who called for improvements.

    "You can look at the numbers, there aren't enough women [editors]," said Joyce Terhaar, editor of The Sacramento Bee. "But there aren't enough women in newsrooms."

    Anders Gyllenhaal, Washington bureau chief for McClatchy, pointed out that 13 of his company's 29 newspapers are run by women. Still, he said the industry as a whole needs improvements, specifically grooming women better for the top roles.

    "It's something you have to look at when you are choosing other editors," he said. "Clearly, there are not enough women editors in the high-profile positions and in the largest papers."

  • Miami Herald Outshines Other Top Florida Papers On Medicaid Expansion Coverage

    Blog ››› ››› DANIEL ANGSTER

    The Miami Herald's coverage of the Florida Medicaid debate was significantly more comprehensive than the other four top circulating Florida newspapers, including multiple mentions of the benefits of expansion and the negative impacts the lack of expansion would have on the state and Floridians. However, similar to other top Florida papers, the Herald also largely missed out on discussing the coverage gap, which if not closed could leave hundreds of thousands of Floridians without affordable health coverage.

    The Medicaid expansion in Florida, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, would extend the low income health care program to 763,890 people and create an estimated 70,000 new jobs, but the state's failure to expand Medicaid will have major negative economic and health related impacts on the state.

    According to a Media Matters analysis of Medicaid expansion mentions from January 1, 2014 through March 4, 2014, the Herald discussed key benefits of expansion or the negative effects associated with not expanding Medicaid 11 times, including 5 mentions of the impact lack of expansion would have on Florida health systems. The next closest paper, the Tampa Bay Times, only had 4 mentions of the benefits of expanding or the negative effects of the failure to expand (click to expand):

    This updated analysis mimics the findings of a previous Media Matters analysis of the top four highest circulating papers' coverage of Medicaid issues.

    While no single article in the Herald covers all of the topics, the paper offers the most comprehensive analysis of the pros and cons of Medicaid expansion. The paper's focus on these key issues is important as Miami-Dade County has one of the highest uninsured rates in the country at nearly 40 percent of the population.

    A January 3 article from The Herald's provides a clear example of what the paper did correctly in reporting the Medicaid debate. Instead of publishing a "he said/she said" back and forth between Florida's politicians or just mentioning the expansion with little context, the article discussed the cost sharing ratio of Medicaid expansion and also provided informative quotes that detailed a baseline number of potential eligible enrollees under expansion:

    Though the federal government has promised to pay 100 percent of the cost [of the Medicaid expansion] for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter -- about $50 billion over 10 years -- Florida has not expanded Medicaid eligibility to include those persons and families earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, which was about $15,300 a year for an individual and $31,300 a year for a family of four in 2013.

    [Democratic] Rep. [Lori] Berman vowed that her party would make Medicaid expansion a Florida legislative priority in 2014.

    She said the effort will include reminders to voters of the stakes involved and the House's Republican leaders responsible for refusing to hear a Senate plan that would have expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2013.

    "We need to make sure the people of Florida understand,'' she said, "you've got somewhere in the neighborhood of 840,000 to 1 million people who would be covered'' if Medicaid eligibility were expanded.

    Also present in the Herald's reporting is information and analysis on Medicaid expansion's impact on doctors and health systems in the state, which could see funding cuts due to the Florida's reluctance to expand the program.

  • Mainstream Media's Fixation With Anti-Immigrant Commentator Mark Krikorian

    ››› ››› SOLANGE UWIMANA & HILARY TONE

    Now that the Obama administration and Congress are engaged in a debate over immigration policy, a Media Matters review of major news outlets has found that when it comes to immigration coverage, anti-immigrant commentator Mark Krikorian continues to be the media's preferred conservative voice. Krikorian heads the Center for Immigration Studies, a group associated with notorious nativist John Tanton and whose research has been called into question -- but these facts are routinely ignored in coverage of his remarks.

  • STUDY: TV Media Covered Biden's Smile Nearly Twice As Much As Climate Change

    ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL, JILL FITZSIMMONS & MAX GREENBERG

    Climate change was almost entirely absent from the political discourse this election season, receiving less than an hour of TV coverage over three months from the major cable and broadcast networks excluding MSNBC. By contrast, those outlets devoted nearly twice as much coverage to Vice President Joe Biden's demeanor during his debate with Rep. Paul Ryan. When climate change was addressed, print and TV media outlets often failed to note the scientific consensus or speak to scientists.

  • Media ignore Sessions' double standard on confirmation timing

    ››› ››› TOM ALLISON

    Several print outlets quoted Sen. Jeff Sessions' call to delay Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing, citing her lengthy judicial record, but did not note that Sessions reportedly urged fast action on Justice Samuel Alito's confirmation process, saying, "You don't have to read everything he's written."

  • Miami Herald uncritically repeated RNC attack on Obama over military spending

    ››› ››› TOM ALLISON

    A Miami Herald article uncritically repeated a claim by the Republican National Committee that Sen. Barack Obama "vot[ed] against $120 billion for the war last year." In fact, Obama has repeatedly voted to provide funds for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and said he voted against a troop funding bill in May 2007 because it did not include a timeline for withdrawal.