July 4th, 2014
Scoring the media: Who covered the news of I-1325’s demise, and who didn’t?
Rethinking and Reframing
Happy Fourth of July!
Yesterday, following Tim Eyman’s belated acknowledgement that the signature drive for I-1325 had failed and he would not be submitting any signatures to the Secretary of State for validation, several media outlets picked up on the story, including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Herald of Everett, and the Spokesman-Review of Spokane. But many more media outlets did not, even though Eyman’s failure to qualify I-1325 for the ballot was a major development that deserved coverage.
A day has passed since the news broke, and we’ve decided to score the media coverage, so interested citizens can see for themselves which outlets dropped the ball and which ones carried the news. We’ll start by listing the outlets that ran with the story.
Media outlets that covered the failure of I-1325
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer
- The Herald of Everett
- Spokane Spokesman-Review
- PubliCola at Seattle Met
Media outlets that didn’t cover I-1325, but did cover Eyman’s minimum wage publicity stunt in mid-June
- The Puget Sound Business Journal published an article by Ashley Stewart which inaccurately said that Tim Eyman was “gathering signatures” for the initiative he filed (he is not, and at the time the article was written, Eyman’s initiative didn’t even have a ballot title). We emailed the PSBJ requesting a correction, but the article has not been updated. The PSBJ has yet to mention the failure of I-1325 to its readers.
- The Stranger, piggybacking on an item published in PubliCola, mentioned Tim Eyman’s minimum wage publicity stunt in June (without disclosing that it was a stunt) but does not appear to have published much about I-1325. If I-1325 ever made it into The Stranger’s coverage, it apparently was only in passing.
Media outlets that didn’t bother to cover the failure of I-1325, but did cover the launch of I-1325 as well as Eyman’s minimum wage publicity stunt in mid-June
- The Seattle Times
- … ran a post on the filing of I-1325 in January by Andrew Garber;
- … ran a story and a blog post that mentioned Eyman’s minimum wage publicity stunt without disclosing that it was a stunt;
- … ran a fawning, undeserved online column from editorial writer Erik Smith about Eyman’s minimum wage publicity stunt;
- … but didn’t bother to cover the failure of I-1325. A search of the Seattle Times archives yields nothing on yesterday’s news.
- The Seattle Weekly
- … ran a one-sided post by Matt Driscoll regarding the filing of I-1325;
- … published a post mentioning Eyman’s minimum wage publicity stunt without disclosing that it was a stunt;
- … but didn’t see fit to share the news of I-1325’s failure with readers.
- Q13 Fox
- … posted an item on the filing of I-1325 in January;
- … posted an item covering Eyman’s minimum wage publicity stunt without disclosing that it was a stunt;
- … but neglected to talk about the failure of I-1325. If I-1325’s demise was mentioned, it was only in passing in a newscast.
Media outlets that covered the launch of I-1325 but not its failure
- KIRO Newsradio’s Dori Monson used his show to promote I-1325 in January and MyNorthwest.com ran an item online about Monson’s support for I-1325. The failure of I-1325 has apparently gone unmentioned by KIRO Newsradio.
- Northwest Public Radio’s Austin Jenkins recorded a one-sided segment about the filing of I-1325 in January, but did not cover its demise. A few days ago, Jenkins aired a report in which he called Eyman a “wildcard” for the 2014 ballot, asking whether I-1325 would make it, despite having been sent Permanent Defense’s threat analysis concluding that there was no evidence of an active signature drive for I-1325 several days prior.
- McClatchy’s Washington papers (The Olympian, The News Tribune) covered the filing of I-1325 (and did so fairly, with reaction from NPI’s Permanent Defense included), but did not cover its failure yesterday. The News Tribune’s Jordan Schrader tweeted the news after receiving Eyman’s email, but neither he nor The Olympian’s Brad Shannon wrote about it for McClatchy.
Media outlets that have paid little attention to Eyman in 2014 include The Associated Press, KOMO, KIRO TV, and KING. Extensive searches failed to turn up any mention of I-1325 or recent online coverage of Tim Eyman from these outlets. At least Seattle’s big three TV stations have been largely consistent in dealing with Eyman lately. Can’t say the same for the the outlets in the middle categories above.