Press Gazette Misleads Readers with False Caption

Green Bay Press Gazette  |  7-24-2016


In its Sunday, July 24, 2016 print edition, the Green Bay Press Gazette committed bias by Commission and bias by Headline/Visual.  Its article featured the following headline:  “Some Dems in tight races skip Philly.”

This headline, in and of itself, is biased because the article focuses on Democrat and Republican political candidates skipping their respective conventions.  Here, the Press Gazette only draws (negative) attention to “Dems,” of which WMCF is sure Democrats would take issue.

Despite this headline, the Press Gazette then prominently features a photo of Republican Senator Ron Johnson with former Senator Russ Feingold – a Democrat— featured less prominently, below.  By placing Ron Johnson’s photo prominently beneath a headline featuring “Dems,” the Press Gazette creates potential confusion to readers: “Wait, is Senator Ron Johnson a Democrat”?

Regardless of the confusion created by what can only be classified as silly photo placement, the Press Gazette’s photo caption takes the cake:

“Senator Ron Johnson, R.-Wis., and Democratic challenger Russ Feingold, inset, decided to stay home.”

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Apparently, staff writers at the Press Gazette (or its parent company, USA Today) failed to tune-in to the Republican Convention. Ron Johnson not only attended but gave a speech.

An online version of this story appeared July 25th on USA Today.com with the same text, by the same author but with a different headline. Furthermore, it does not include the Ron Johnson photo or the captions included with the Green Bay Press Gazette’s July 24th printed edition.

It’s understandable if the editors at the Green Bay Press Gazette needed to shorten the original title of the story for printing purposes. Perhaps the editors even took some editorial liberty to make this syndicated filler story more local.

Regardless of the intent, the end result misleads readers into believing Senator Johnson “skipped” the Republican National Convention. Which perpetuates the liberal narrative that Republicans “’are going to stay as far away as possible’” from Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

Pull it together, Press Gazette.

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